National Health Groups Urge Supreme Court to Protect Executive Agencies’ Authority in Case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo

Amicus Brief States Overturning Long-Standing Precedent in Question Would Disrupt Nation’s Health Care System by Risking Important Work of Federal Agencies

September 22, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 22, 2023 –Today, leading public health, consumer and provider groups filed an amicus curiae (or friend-of-the-court) brief in the case of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo urging the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) not to overturn the “Chervon deference,” a legal precedent holding that courts should defer to federal agencies in their interpretation of statutes.

As part of the Loper case, the high court will consider one question that poses a significant threat to the country’s health care system by undermining the work of federal health agencies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  

CMS is an agency with deep expertise that has the structure to best interpret and make policy associated with complex heath statutes such as those governing Medicare and Medicaid.

The below statement is on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Epilepsy Foundation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, National Health Law Program, Truth Initiative, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“In a shared mission to advance and protect public health, our groups urge the Supreme Court to continue deferring to the expert authority of federal executive agencies entrusted by Congress to interpret and implement vital public health programs and complex patient protections.

“Authority over federal programs and policies should lie with a centralized agency of relevant subject matter experts that are accountable to Congress, the White House, and the courts to guarantee a stable, regulatory foundation for complex health policies that govern our multi-trillion-dollar American health care system. Overturning the “Chevron” decision would threaten to disrupt access to care in every geographic region, at every income level, and with every kind of medical care and public health need served by Medicare and Medicaid.

“We urge the Court to keep this legal precedent in place and protect the stability of public health programs like Medicare and Medicaid that benefit nearly half the U.S. population by ensuring that laws passed by Congress can continue to be interpreted by appropriate agencies.”

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Taylor Hall
Associate Director, Federal Media Advocacy, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Alissa Crispino
Senior Vice President, Advocacy Communications & Policy