The Supreme Court has defined Medicaid as “a cooperative federal-state program through which the Federal Government provides financial assistance to States so that they may furnish medical care to needy individuals.” In June 2012, the Court found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) Medicaid expansion unconstitutional. The Court took issue with the threat to withhold all of a state’s Medicaid funding if they did not comply with the expansion, finding it coercive and a fundamental shift in the Medicaid paradigm. However, Medicaid in its current form may not always be effective at providing beneficiaries with timely access to the care to which they are entitled. For Medicaid to function as intended, Congress must amend the definition of “medical assistance” in the Medicaid Act and give Medicaid beneficiaries and providers an enforceable federal right to sue the states when they do not set provider reimbursement rates at levels that are adequate to attract sufficient Medicaid providers to provide enumerated services for enrollees.

Citation Note

This Comment was originally cited as Volume 2 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.