Law Center Attorney Briefs Supreme Court on Medicaid Access

In August, 2011, Law Center attorney Jim Eiseman and attorney Louis Bullock submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, documenting for the Court how inadequate Medicaid payment rates for doctors and dentists have effectively denied healthcare to people enrolled in Medicaid.

Writing on behalf of the American Medical Association and other national associations of doctors and dentists, the brief argues that in order for the Medicaid Act’s requirement of equal access to health care to be more than an empty promise, the Justices must protect the rights of private citizens to bring lawsuits against states that fail to ensure prompt access to medical and dental care.

The brief draws on the Law Center’s two decades of experience bringing health care access lawsuits proving that states, by failing to pay doctors and dentists enough, have violated federal Medicaid law.

UPDATE: On February 22, 2012, the Supreme Court wrote a majority opinion vacating the decision and sent the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for review. Many of California’s payment cuts were approved, but fortunately not all. The Court advised that the California health care providers seek another law, such as the Administrative Procedure Act, under which to bring their case and subsequently prepare the necessary arguments and case materials.