Alaska Supreme Court Allows Medicaid Expansion–For Now

Medicaid expansion will start in Alaska Tuesday after the Alaska Supreme Court said it would not block enrollment in the broadened health care program. The court’s order Monday marks a victory for Gov. Bill Walker in an ongoing lawsuit between his administration and the state Legislature over the legality of expanding Medicaid without legislative approval. While the Supreme Court denied the Legislature’s motion for a temporary restraining order, which would have temporarily stopped enrollment in expanded Medicaid, the underlying lawsuit pitting the Legislature against the Walker administration still stands. The Legislative Council, on behalf of the Legislature, sued Walker’s administration in mid-August in efforts to stop him from unilaterally expanding the health care program under the Affordable Care Act. They framed their decision, to challenge Walker, as a constitutional one. They said they needed more time to examine expansion because of the risk of future costs. The Republican-controlled House-Senate committee voted 10-1 to spend up to $450,000 on the lawsuit. Ultimately, the Supreme Court order issued Monday said the Legislative Council failed to show that the Superior Court erred in denying the preliminary injunction. It said Walker’s administration could move forward with enrolling Alaskans in expanded Medicaid Tuesday.

Source/more: Alaska Dispatch News

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David Wingate is an Elder Law Attorney with the Elder Law Office of David Wingate. The Elder Law Office works in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice consists of Powers of Attorneys, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and Asset Protection.

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