Id. In Oberlander, no such conflict had been alleged; rather, the plaintiff had merely alleged improper application of the state plan to the plaintiff and therefore that federal statutory claim was dismissed.
Here, plaintiffs' allegations are similar in substance to those in Oberlander. Plaintiffs claim that defendants violated regulations contained in the New York state plan by miscalculating the plaintiffs' reimbursement rate and, in the process, acted outside the scope of their authority. However, plaintiffs have not alleged any conflict between the federal Medicaid statute and the state plan. Rather, their claim concerns the improper application of the plan to a particular health provider, which is a claim under state law.
Plaintiffs claim that Oberlander is no longer valid in light of Wilder v. Virginia Hospital Assoc., 496 U.S. 498, 110 L. Ed. 2d 455, 110 S. Ct. 2510 (1990). The Wilder plaintiffs alleged that the Virginia state plan reimbursement rates were not "reasonable and adequate" as is required by the federal statute. Id. at 503. Wilder held that a claim that the state plan conflicted with the federal statute -- the type of case which Oberlander held would state a federal claim -- was actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. at 523; see also Clifton v. Schafer, 969 F.2d 278, 285 (7th Cir. 1992) ("Wilder held simply that health care providers could sue to enforce their right to a state plan that did not violate the Boren Amendment; it did not hold that providers had a right to challenge any deviation the state might make from a plan that did comply with federal law."). Thus, Wilder did not overrule Oberlander. Plaintiffs' mischaracterization of both Oberlander and Wilder is particularly regrettable because their attorney represented the unsuccessful plaintiff in Oberlander and should know better.
Plaintiffs cite one case which held that a claim that the state violated its state plan constitutes a federal claim. Oklahoma Nursing Home Assoc. v. Demps, 792 F. Supp. 721, 728 (W.D. Okla. 1992). That case rejected Oberlander, and found that the Medicaid statute, specifically 42 U.S.C. §§ 1396a(a)(1) and 1396c, require compliance with the state plan, and the failure to comply would violate federal law. Even if I agreed with that Court's reading of the relevant statutory provisions, which I respectfully but emphatically do not, I must follow Oberlander.
Again, plaintiffs have failed to allege a violation of federal law and therefore are barred under the Eleventh Amendment from obtaining an injunction against defendants.
For the reasons stated above, plaintiffs' motion for an injunction pending appeal is denied.
Michael B. Mukasey,
U.S. District Judge
Dated: New York, New York
November 22, 1996
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