HHS Secretary Helps Clarify Implications of Supreme Court Ruling

This week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to the nation’s Governors in adance of their weekend meeting in Williamsburg, VA providing some important clarity on the implications of the Supreme Court ruling for Medicaid.  As we all know, the Supreme Court decided that states cannot face loss of all of their Medicaid funds if they do not provide coverage for adults to 133 percent of the federal poverty line as required under the ACA.  As was clear in Justice Roberts’ majority opinion and as Secretary Sebelius confirmed in yesterday’s letter, “the court’s decision did not affect other provisions of the law” governing Medicaid.  Some state officials had mistakenly seized on the court ruling as effectively invalidating other parts of the law, including the maintenance-of-effort provision (aka stability protections).  But, with the new letter, there no longer is any reason for lingering confusion over this issue.  According to a Kaiser Health News report, a White House official confirmed that means states are still barred from reducing eligibility for Medicaid.

Cathy Hope
Cathy Hope is the Communications Director at the Center for Children and Families