Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The Medicaid expansion in Section 2001(a)(1)(C) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is one part of Congress’s comprehensive effort to expand access to health care coverage. This expansion is not revolutionary, but builds on many prior statutory amendments to Medicaid. Nor does it alter the voluntary nature of the Medicaid program – as before, States remain free to decline federal funding. The Petitioners and their amici have mischaracterized the expansion to obscure these facts, hoping this Court will unravel this hard-fought legislative enactment.

The question presented is whether Congress may offer States generous additional funding for Medicaid, with spending conditions that entirely satisfy the four-part test in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987).