With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the vast majority of Obamacare, one provision that was overturned could potentially have a significant impact if some states refuse to expand Medicaid as instructed in the act.
In explaining the rationale for not allowing the federal government to withhold existing Medicaid funding to states that refuse to participate in the expansion, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.” He also had strong criticism for Congress’ attempt to force the states into compliance: “In this case, the financial ‘inducement’ Congress has chosen is much more than ‘relatively mild encouragement’—it is a gun to the head.”
Due to the ruling, states will have the option to refuse the proposed Medicaid expansion. In reference to the individual states, Roberts said that they “have a genuine choice whether to participate in the new Medicaid expansion” and that they “may now choose to reject the expansion.” Parrish Miller/IdahoReporter.com