Supreme Court Review of the Affordable Care Act
NHeLP wrote an amicus brief on behalf of 38 prominent health care providers, consumers and local officials supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion in the case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. NHeLP's brief traces the history and structure of the Medicaid program from its enactment and argues that the ACA's expansion is consistent with all previous expansions and is by no means coercive. Read the brief here.
NHeLP convened a press briefing for the reporters who cover the Supreme Court on the pending challenge to the ACA. NHeLP Executive Director, Emily Spitzer, moderated the panel. Former Acting Solicitor General, Walter Dellinger, addressed the issue of the minimum coverage provision and NHeLP Legal Director, Jane Perkins, addressed the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion. Three other amici also addressed the implications of striking down the law. The Supreme Court reporter for The Los Angeles Times wrote an article about Medicaid two days later, and quoted Jane. Read the article here.
NHeLP developed two resources for health advocates, policy makers and press following the challenge to the constitutionality of the ACA. The first resource is a searchable chart that lists, by issue, each brief filed in the case and a link to the full text, the individuals and organizations that signed onto each brief, and the lead counsel on each brief. The chart is available here. The second resource draws on NHeLP's longstanding expertise in Medicaid and presents 15 short arguments explaining why the position taken by the state officials challenging the ACA's Medicaid expansion is incorrect as a matter of law, policy, and history. The 15 problems list is available here.
NHeLP continued its regular monthly calls with State Advocates, which focus on sharing information among states on health reform implementation and informing NHeLP's work on the national level with the deep experience of state-based advocates. In the past few months, calls have focused on the development of policy (re: Essential Health Benefits) and a presentation by Jane Perkins on the issues before the Supreme Court on the Medicaid expansion.
Since the ACA's enactment on March 23, 2010, NHeLP has been actively involved in educating policy makers on the importance of the law and working with advocates and government leaders to ensure the law meets the needs of all consumers. To celebrate the second anniversary of the ACA, NHeLP developed a series of one-page fact sheets for consumers and health advocates on the top five ways the ACA is already helping and will further help consumers in the future. These fact sheets address how the ACA will lessen health disparities, improve and expand the Medicaid program and access to affordable health insurance in the private market, and help children, women, and people with disabilities access health care that meets their needs. Read our factsheets here. In addition, NHeLP's reproductive justice fellow, Erin Armstrong, wrote a blog post for Moms Rising on the 5 ways health reform supports women. Read the blog post here.
NHeLP provided comments to the California Exchange on a Request for Proposal for the development of an Exchange eligibility and enrollment IT system. Additionally, NHeLP worked with the Consumers Union and the Georgetown Center on Children and Families to train state advocates on IT issues and to develop materials to assist them in addressing their state's IT capabilities.
NHeLP wrote testimony opposing the proposed refusal clauses that attempt to permit employers and insurers to override the health care decisions of women. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky entered NHeLP's testimony into the congressional record before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. In addition, Congressman Endolphus Towns entered NHeLP's testimony into the congressional record before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. NHeLP's report - Health Care Refusals: Undermining Quality Care for Women has been distributed and relied upon by those working to protect women's health rights. NHeLP continues to be a leader on this issue, providing guidance and analysis to health advocates and policy makers working to protect access to comprehensive reproductive health care. Read our report here.
NHeLP attorney, Deborah Reid, will speak on a panel entitled "Promoting Maternal Health through Law and Policy," for the annual Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights at Georgetown Law School. The panel presentation will focus on how the Affordable Care Act can be implemented to improve maternal health disparities. Read more about the panel here.
Leader Pelosi spoke at NHeLP's 22nd annual Health Advocates Conference in December. NHeLP then continued to work with Leader Pelosi to defend against attacks on women's health and the contraception coverage requirements in the ACA.
NHeLP drafted an issue brief on health care refusals and contraception, explaining how conscience clauses undermine the quality of women's care and place women at risk for adverse health consequences. Read our issue brief here.
In a pending case in California, Katie A. v. Douglas, NHeLP was part of a litigation team that worked with the state of California to reach a landmark settlement to provide Medicaid covered intensive home-based mental health services and supports for thousands of children and youth in, or at risk of, foster care.
NHeLP prepared and disseminated an issue brief on the EPSDT program and landmark Katie A. v. Douglas settlement. The brief describes the new mental health services that California must now provide to children under EPSDT. Read our brief here.
In a pending case in North Carolina (Pashby v. Cansler), NHeLP and co-counsel obtained a preliminary injunction barring cutbacks in Medicaid coverage of at-home services. NHeLP is working with co-counsel to reach a settlement in a California case (Darling v. Douglas), to also prevent individuals from losing Medicaid coverage of at-home services.
NHeLP prepared and disseminated an issue brief on private enforcement of the Medicaid Act, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983.Read our brief here.
In a pending case in North Carolina, L.S., et al. v. Delia, et al., NHeLP was part of a litigation team that obtained a preliminary injunction to halt reductions to home and community-based services and restore lost services until the state of North Carolina and its Medicaid managed care contractor comply with legal requirements for providing Medicaid beneficiaries with adequate notices and opportunities for impartial hearings when their services are denied, reduced or terminated. Read our press release here.
NHeLP prepared an issue brief on Medicaid coverage of individuals in the justice system. The brief analyzes the effect incarceration has on an individual's eligibility for Medicaid and ability to remain in the program. Read our issue brief here.
NHeLP wrote an article, published in The Clearinghouse Review, providing a practical guide for advocates responding to state Medicaid service cutbacks. The article focuses on measures such as reduced provider payments and benefits reductions. Read our article here.
NHeLP prepared an issue brief on the use of biometric smart cards as a purported check on Medicaid fraud. Recently, there have been a number of proposals in states to combat Medicaid fraud by requiring biometric smart cards to verify the identity of beneficiaries. The issue brief discusses this legislative activity and demonstrates how current proposals would create barriers to enrollment and care. Read our issue brief here.
California Healthline quoted Emily Spitzer, Experts: Medicaid Expansion Will Stand; Mandate's Fate Unclear, March 29, 2012. Read the article here.
The Palm Beach Post quoted Jane Perkins, Do Plaintiff's Debts Bolster Other Side in Health Care Debate, March 27, 2012. Read the article here.
BuzzFeed quoted Emily Spitzer, 4 Ways the Health Care Decision Will Change Women's Lives, March 26, 2012. Read the article here.
Congressional Quarterly quoted Jane Perkins, Mandate Is Main Event in Health Care Hearings, March 26, 2012.
Lateline interviewed Emily Spitzer, Obama's Health System on Trial, March 26, 2012. Listen to the interview here.
The Huffington Post featured an article by Emily Spitzer, The Supreme Court: Why You Should Care Even If You Hate the ACA, March 26, 2012. Read the article here.
Emily Spitzer and Jane Perkins were interviewed by national radio shows, including Mark Walsh on Left Jab Radio and Talk Radio News, at the Families USA radio row event during Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Emily and Jane spoke about NHeLP's amicus brief defending the ACA's Medicaid expansion and the importance of the program and the ACA for expanding health care access to millions of individuals.
The Seattle Times quoted Jane Perkins, Health-Care-Law Decision Will Have Far-Reaching Impact, March 24, 2012. Read the article here.
The Pioneer Press quoted Jane Perkins, In Supreme Court, Health Care Showdown Looms, March 24, 2012. Read the article here.
The Huffington Post featured an article by Emily Spitzer, A Birthday We Can All Celebrate, March 23, 2012. Read the article here.
Congressional Quarterly Health Beat quoted Jane Perkins, Beyond the Health Care Arguments: The Waiting Games, March 23, 2012.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Jane Perkins, Plaintiff Challenging Healthcare Law Went Bankrupt - With Unpaid Medical Bills, March 8, 2012. Read the article here.
Reuters quoted Susan Berke Fogel, Debate Over Conscience in the Workplace Intensifies, February 21, 2011. Read the article here.
The Huffington Post featured a column from Emily Spitzer, States Shocked, Shocked at Medicaid Expansion, February 16, 2012. Read the article here.
The Huffington Post featured a column from Emily Spitzer, Keep Your Leeches for Yourself, February 14, 2012. Read the article here.
San Fernando Valley Business Journal quoted Susan Berke Fogel, Parent of Area Hospitals Loosens Ties With Church, February 6, 2012.
The Huffington Post featured a column from Emily Spitzer, Plan B Falls Victim to Plan P: Politics, December 10, 2011. Read the article here.
The Associated Press quoted Kim Lewis, California Settles Lawsuit Over Child Mental Health, December 6, 2011.
The Santa Fe New Mexican quoted Jane Perkins, Legislators Want Say on Medicaid Revamp, December 1, 2011. Read the article here.
The Washington Post quoted Susan Berke Fogel, New Jersey Nurses Charge Religious Discrimination Over Hospital Abortion Policy, November 27, 2011. Read the article here.
The Hill featured an op-ed from Emily Spitzer, Restrictions on Birth Control Hurt Everyone, November 24, 2011. Read the article here.
The BBC Newshour program interviewed Susan Berke Fogel in response to a New Jersey lawsuit by nurses alleging discrimination over their hospital's policy around abortion care. Interview starts at 0:14. Listen to the programming here.
The Contra Consta Times quoted Sarah Somers, State Budget Cuts Threaten Day Programs for Thousands of Seniors and the Disabled, November 8, 2011.