Reading Alexander V. Choate Rightly: Now Is the Time
Laws 2017, 6(4)
13 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2017 Last revised: 3 Nov 2017
Date Written: October 8, 2017
Whatever happens to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the next few years, it is fair to assume that state Medicaid programs will be subjected to cost control measures. Despite the recent deployment of substantial arguments to the contrary, the belief still persists that the Supreme Court’s decision in Alexander v. Choate over thirty years ago stands for the proposition that disability anti-discrimination law does not impose requirements on the structure of Medicaid benefits. This belief is misleading at best. In this article, we challenge the access/content distinction and the straitened interpretation of Alexander v. Choate that has resulted from it. We then use cases drawn from education to point the way to a more robust analysis of meaningful access to health care and the constraints it places on the design of state Medicaid programs.
Keywords: disability; discrimination; meaningful access; health care; Alexander v. Choate; justice
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