August 10, 2011

Citing need for flexibility, Kansas rejects federal health grant

By Citing need for flexibility, Kansas rejects federal health grant

Author: Daniel Himebaugh

With a majority of states suing to stop the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government has had its hands full trying to implement the program.  Now some states have taken their resistance beyond the courtroom.  Yesterday, Kansas became the second state (Oklahoma being the first) to return a multi-million dollar federal grant meant to fund the establishment of a health insurance exchange in that state.  Kansas Governor Sam Brownback cited the need to "maintain maximum flexibility" and free Kansas from the "strings attached" to federal money among his reasons for returning the grant.

From a legal standpoint, Kansas' decision adds more weight to the idea that the ACA is burdening the states.  This is important because whether the ACA accommodates state interests is one factor that courts must consider in determining whether the ACA is constitutional under the Supreme Court's 2010 decision United States v. Comstock.

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