Health care arguments: Now what about Medicaid?

MARK SHERMAN PETE YOST Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court's liberal justices are making clear they will vote to uphold the massive expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans that is part of the health care overhaul.

In the finale of three days of arguments over President Barack Obama's health care law, the justices indicated strong disagreement with a challenge from 26 states that calls the expansion of the joint state-federal program unconstitutionally coercive.

More than 15 million people would get health care through Medicaid, and the federal government would pay all of the costs at first, dropping to 90 percent after about five years.

Justice Elena Kagan wondered why "a big gift" from the federal government could be considered coercive.