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Recent Developments in Court Access for Medicaid and Medicare Cases

By Rochelle Bobroff & Jane Perkins

Federal preemption of state Medicaid and Medicare laws has enabled beneficiaries to invalidate state laws restricting Medicaid benefits but has prevented enforcement of progressive state consumer protection statutes in the Medicare context. Some punitive state Medicaid laws can be overturned; however, the 2002 Supreme Court decision in Gonzaga University v. Doe has made it harder to withstand motions to dismiss. Advocates are using federal preemption as an alternative means of bringing claims under the Medicaid statute, but this raises issues of which advocates must be aware also. Staying up-to-date on changes in Medicaid and Medicare laws is necessary to make the best litigation decisions for clients.

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