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Pending legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are about much more than just the constitutionality of an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Several cases before federal district-court judges raise claims that the new law would improperly "commandeer" states to enact legislation or administratively enforce federal policies. Some state officials are quietly discussing opt-out alternatives to the federally required expansion of their Medicaid programs. Further ahead on the legal horizon are issues involving excessive delegation of regulatory power to administrative bodies, executive-branch rulemaking that attempts to override past court decisions, and private lawsuits to enforce new legal entitlements under the new health legislation.
Noted health law scholar James F. Blumstein and former Department of Justice associate deputy attorney general Thomas M. Christina will analyze these and other related federal-state legal issues. AEI resident fellow Michael S. Greve will comment, and AEI health policy scholar Thomas P. Miller will moderate the discussion.
James F. Blumstein is university professor of constitutional law and health law and policy and the director of the Health Policy Center at Vanderbilt University. He has been an adjunct professor of health law at Dartmouth Medical School, the John M. Olin Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a visiting associate professor of law and policy sciences at Duke Law School. Mr. Blumstein is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and has served as a member of the IOM Committee on the Adequacy of Nurse Staffing in Hospitals and Nursing Homes and as a member of the Advisory Panel on the Study of Defensive Medicine and the Use of Medical Technology. He has won Vanderbilt's university-wide award for lifetime research achievement (the Sutherland Prize) and the law school's award for teaching (the Hartman Award). He has also litigated constitutional issues in state and federal courts, including, most recently, Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (2001), and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association v. Brentwood Academy (2007).
Thomas M. Christina is a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart LLC, a national labor and employment law firm, where he practices in employee-benefits law. Since 2009, Mr. Christina has counseled employers and industry groups on legislative health care reform efforts and regulatory and compliance issues under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He speaks and writes frequently on specific aspects of agency guidance under the act, such as grandfathered health plan status, implementation of mandated-coverage terms, and planning for employer mandates beginning in 2014. Mr. Christina also is the editor of Employee Benefits Law—An Employer's Guide, published annually by the American Chamber of Commerce Association. He is a member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has written numerous amicus briefs on behalf of prominent trade associations in cases arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. During the Reagan administration, he was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy and later an assistant deputy attorney general.
Michael S. Greve is the John G. Searle Scholar at AEI. Mr. Greve cofounded and, from 1989 to 2000, directed the Center for Individual Rights, a public-interest law firm. He has written extensively on many aspects of the American legal system, and his publications include numerous law-review articles and books. Mr. Greve also heads AEI's Transatlantic Law Forum. His current projects include a book on the constitutional foundations of competitive federalism.
Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI, where he focuses on health policy with a particular emphasis on information transparency, health insurance regulation, and consumer-driven health care. He was a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 2007 to 2009. Before joining AEI, Mr. Miller served for three years as a senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee, where he organized a series of hearings focusing on promising reforms in private health care markets. He also has been director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and director of economic policy studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Mr. Miller's writing has appeared in publications such as Health Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Reader's Digest, National Review, Forbes.com, the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, Regulation, and Cato Journal. Before moving to Washington to work on public policy, he was a trial attorney, journalist, and radio broadcaster.