Photo of Steve McBradyPhoto of Daniel W. WolffPhoto of Clifton ElgartenPhoto of Skye MathiesonPhoto of Charles Baek

On April 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Maine Cmty. Health Options et al v. United States, ruling in favor of Maine and companion insurers in the long running Affordable Care Act §1342 “risk corridors” litigation, and confirming the government’s obligation to pay insurers approximately $13 billion for their work related to the ACA. Under the risk corridors program, the government and the health plans shared risk during the first three years of the ACA exchanges, and had reciprocal statutory payment obligations; however, after the health plans performed, the government refused to make full payment, arguing that Congress’ refusal to appropriate funds vitiated the government’s payment obligation. Reversing the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court held that the statute contained an unambiguous payment mandate, which was not repealed or otherwise suspended by Congress’ failure to make appropriations available. While a failure to appropriate funds prevents agencies from making the payment, the failure does not relieve the United States of its obligation to pay. Speaking for the majority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote: “These holdings reflect a principle as old as the Nation itself: The Government should honor its obligations. Soon after ratification, Alexander Hamilton stressed this insight as a cornerstone of fiscal policy. ‘States,’ he wrote, ‘who observe their engagements . . . are respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those . . . who pursue an opposite conduct.’” C&M partner Steve McBrady called the decision “important” noting that it “cements bedrock principles of fairness into money mandating statute jurisprudence.” Crowell & Moring represented Maine Community Health Options.

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Photo of Steve McBrady Steve McBrady

Steve McBrady is a partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Finance and Strategic Growth Committees, where he has played a leading role in expanding client service offerings throughout the U.S.…

Steve McBrady is a partner and co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group. He also serves as a member of the firm’s Finance and Strategic Growth Committees, where he has played a leading role in expanding client service offerings throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

In recent years, Steve has received the National Law Journal’s “Winning Litigator” award as a lawyer who has “tackled some of the most widely watched cases of the year,” as well as the “D.C. Trailblazer” award, recognizing lawyers who have “made significant marks on the practice.” In 2018, he was named “Government Contracts MVP” by Law360.

Photo of Daniel W. Wolff Daniel W. Wolff

Dan Wolff is a litigator and regulatory problem solver. He is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and chairs the firm’s Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Dan works with clients across a wide spectrum of regulated industries, counseling them on…

Dan Wolff is a litigator and regulatory problem solver. He is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office and chairs the firm’s Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice. Dan works with clients across a wide spectrum of regulated industries, counseling them on their rights and obligations under a number of federal regulatory programs and in responding to government enforcement actions. Dan appears regularly in federal district and appellate courts, frequently in matters arising under the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal statutes, or which pose constitutional questions. He also litigates commercial and products liability cases in both federal and state venues.

Photo of Clifton Elgarten Clifton Elgarten

Clifton S. Elgarten, resident in the D.C. office and frequent visitor to the New York office, received his BA, magna cum laude, in 1975 from the City College of New York and his JD, summa cum laude, from the Benjamin…

Clifton S. Elgarten, resident in the D.C. office and frequent visitor to the New York office, received his BA, magna cum laude, in 1975 from the City College of New York and his JD, summa cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, in 1979. After graduating from law school, he was law clerk to the Honorable Louis H. Pollak, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and later to the Honorable William J. Brennan, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bars of the State of New York and the District of Columbia.

Cliff’s practice is diverse and includes appeals, arbitrations, and trial court work. Over the course of his career, appellate advocacy has been a primary practice area, covering the gamut of cases and appellate issues in the U.S. Supreme Court, many federal circuits, and in various state appellate courts, particularly in New York. He frequently advises as well on issues of constitutional law and appellate practice. He is listed as a Washington Super Lawyer for Appellate Litigation.

Photo of Skye Mathieson Skye Mathieson

Skye Mathieson is a counsel in the Government Contracts Group in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. He works with and advises clients from diverse industries on a wide array of matters, including contract performance disputes (CDA claims and equitable adjustments), cost allowability…

Skye Mathieson is a counsel in the Government Contracts Group in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office. He works with and advises clients from diverse industries on a wide array of matters, including contract performance disputes (CDA claims and equitable adjustments), cost allowability issues, defective pricing, fiscal law questions, prime-sub disputes, bid protests, internal investigations, and responding to DCAA audits. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Skye spent several years as a trial attorney at the procurement litigation division of the Air Force Headquarters for Legal Operations, where he pioneered the seminal “Laguna Defense” that is now widely raised and litigated at the Boards of Contract Appeals.

Photo of Charles Baek Charles Baek

Charles Baek is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he practices in the Government Contracts Group.

Charles represents government contractors in both litigation and counseling matters. His practice focuses on contract claims/disputes under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), litigation…

Charles Baek is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he practices in the Government Contracts Group.

Charles represents government contractors in both litigation and counseling matters. His practice focuses on contract claims/disputes under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), litigation before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), federal regulatory and ethics compliance and due diligence, bid protests before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and False Claims Act (FCA) investigations. His practice also includes state contracting due diligence and litigation before the Court of Federal Claims.