Supreme Court Declines to Hear Medicaid Case


On Monday, the Supreme Court chose to not hear Gee v. Planned Parenthood of Gulf Coast.  At issue was whether patients may sue states in federal court for removing medical providers, like Planned Parenthood, from Medicaid family planning programs. In Gee, Louisiana terminated its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood after reports that the organization sold fetal tissue for profit. Instead of utilizing the state's administrative appeal process to challenge the decision, Planned Parenthood found plaintiffs to sue the state in federal court.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs had a right to bring suit under federal law to challenge a state's termination of a provider from its Medicaid plan. Four other federal circuit courts have similarly found an individual right of action, while the Eighth has not. This split among the courts led many to believe that the Supreme Court would take up the case to resolve the issue.  

While the legal questions raised were not directly related to abortion because Medicaid does not reimburse for abortion as part of family planning, many looked to this case to provide some indication as to how the new conservative majority would rule on matters of concern to pro-life advocates.

December 19, 2018 - 1:04pm

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