Fournier v. Sebelius, No. 12-15478 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs appealed the Secretary's denial of their claims for Medicare coverage for dental services. Plaintiffs contended that this denial was premised on the Secretary's unreasonable interpretation of the Medicare Act, Pub. L. No. 89-97, 79 Stat. 286, which contravened the intent of Congress and violated plaintiffs' right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment. The court concluded that, although the statutory provision for exclusion of dental services was ambiguous in the sense that plausible divergent constructions could be urged, the Secretary's interpretation of the statute was reasonable. The court also concluded that the Secretary's statutory interpretation warranted Chevron deference and the Secretary's statutory interpretation was reasonable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.