Geisinger Health System, et al v. Pennsylvania (majority)Annotate this Case
In a direct appeal, the issue before the Supreme Court in this case was the constitutionality of legislation mandating a one-time transfer of money from the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund to Pennsylvania's General Fund. The Commonwealth faced a budget impasse for the 2009-10 fiscal year that lasted approximately 100 days. An interim budget was passed, and impasse was resolved when the Governor approved a supplemental appropriations bill, as well as implementing legislation making amendments to Pennsylvania's Fiscal Code. One of Act provisions designed to balance the budget directed that $100 million be transferred from the MCARE Fund to the General Fund. Appellees sought a declaration that: (1) the transfer of $100 million from the MCARE Fund to the General Fund extinguished vested rights or constituted an illegal taking in violation of the due process guarantees contained the Commonwealth and federal constitutions; and (2) the transfer violated the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Concerned that the Commonwealth might effectuate the transfer and dissipate the funds, Appellees filed an application for preliminary injunctive relief (a temporary restraining order). After review, the Supreme Court concluded that the October 2009 amendment to the Fiscal Code transferring $100 million from the MCARE Fund to the General Fund implicated the providers' due process rights, but that the question of whether the legislation was finally unconstitutional requires further factual development. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Commonwealth Court's order granting summary relief.