Amici Curiae Brief, State of Florida, et al., v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 11-400

January 17, 2012

Dechert recently filed three amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf a group of more than 100 economists (including two Nobel laureates and numerous former senior government officials) in support of the States and private parties challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In striking down the individual mandate, the Eleventh Circuit relied upon a Dechert amicus brief filed on behalf of the same economists, and Dechert’s amicus briefs at the Supreme Court have been closely followed both by court watchers and the parties to the landmark constitutional challenge. Before the Supreme Court, Dechert has filed briefs on the key question whether the individual mandate provision is unconstitutional, as well as on the questions whether the individual mandate is severable from the rest of the Act and whether the Act’s Medicaid expansion is unconstitutionally coercive of the States.

The Medicaid brief argued that the Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional because the States are faced with loss of all federal Medicaid funds if they do not accept onerous new conditions, and the loss of all federal Medicaid funds would force States to come up with an average of more than 20% of their current budgets in order to make up for that loss. Dechert attorneys Steven G. Bradbury, Steven A. Engel (counsel of record), Michael H. Park and Elisa T. Wiygul filed the brief.