Obama to SCOTUS: Medicaid Enrollees Have No Rights

Medicaid recipients and health care providers cannot sue state officials to challenge cuts in Medicaid payments, even if such cuts compromise access to health care for poor people, the Obama administration has told the Supreme Court…

In many parts of the country, payment rates are so low that Medicaid recipients have difficulty finding doctors to take them. But, the Justice Department said, the Medicaid law’s promise of equal access to care is “broad and nonspecific,” and federal health officials are better equipped than judges to balance that goal with other policy objectives, like holding down costs.

Full article on the law that limits Medicaid recipients’ rights and access to the courts.

Comments (7)

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  1. Bruce says:

    This is really cute. Remember Obama asking everyone to send to the White House their worst horror stories about how they have been mistreated by private health insurance? Then they pass a bill enrolling 16 million more people in Medicaid. Now, Obama says that Medicaid enrollees have no rights at all.

    Beam me up, Scotty.

  2. Joe S. says:

    This is rich.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    It’s surprising when the government exempts itself from laws that it wants vigorously enforced against private insurers (not that I want to allow private insurers withhold promised benefits).

  4. Brian Williams. says:

    I find myself agreeing with the DOJ position. Beggars can’t be choosers. If welfare recipients can sue state officials to get more generous benefits from the public treasury, taxpayers won’t survive for long.

  5. John R. Graham says:

    Mr. Williams, I hear you. However, the position of President Obama and his ilk when they are on the campaign trail is that health care is a “human right.” When they go in front of a judge, their story changes.

    President Obama did not invent this tactic. Back in 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favor of a Quebec physician who wanted to practice privately. Canadians have believed that their governments supported a human right to universal health care since the 1960s

    Not so: The Quebec case resulted in a few lawsuits in other provinces. Arguing in the other direction, the government of British Columbia argued forcefully that health care is not a human right, but – in effect – a government privilege. (I wrote about this at http://tinyurl.com/3ul55ew.)

  6. Linda Gorman says:

    Funny, individuals sure can sue Medicaid to force states to provide services to persons with disabilities in community settings rather than institutions, and Indiana was in the federal black books because it imposed “impermissible” restrictions on the freedom of Medicaid recipients to choose health care providers by cutting off money to Planned Parenthood clinics.

    Guess it is wrong to set the price at zero for Planned Parenthood but ok to set the price at zero for any doctors not working at section 330 federally qualified health clinics.

  7. MR says:

    If I have Medicaid do I “have” to let a managed care case manager in my home? Do I have to meet with a managed care case manager? Can I ask them to stop calling me?