Does the House Build Back Better Bill Violate the Limits on Conditional Spending?

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Jonathan H Adler

“Among the provisions of the House-passed “Build Back Better” spending bill are provisions that cut federal health care funding in states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. In the Wall Street Journal, Chris Jacobs argues that this violates conditional spending holding of NFIB v. Sebelius. … On the one hand, just because the federal government has funded something in the past does not mean it has to fund something in the future. Congress must have the ability to change its spending priorities over time. On the other hand, the Court held in NFIB that Congress may not use prior state acceptance of federal funding as leverage to induce state cooperation with new programs, and on this basis held that Congress could not condition continued receipt of pre-existing Medicaid funds on acceptance of the Medicaid expansion.” (11/23/21)