Shades of Blue

Monday, May 22, 2006

Missouri suing Feds over senior's Rx costs

Fifteen states want the U.S. Supreme Court to block the federal government’s plan to bill them for a portion of costs for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit passed by Congress.

The case tests Congress’ power to bill states directly for the costs of a federal program. States not only object to chipping in for the drug benefit for seniors, but they also worry it will set a precedent that Congress could use to force states to pay for federal initiatives in the future.

Five states -- Texas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri and New Jersey -- used a special constitutional provision to go straight to the nation’s highest court to sue the Bush administration in March. They argue Congress is imposing an illegal tax on states.
Ten states have filed papers supporting the challenge to the 2003 Medicare law, calling it an “unprecedented intrusion into each state’s sovereignty.”

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