Representing the state of Arizona’s Medicaid program, Ballard Spahr partner Joseph A. Kanefield recently argued before a three-judge panel of the Arizona Court of Appeals. His argument: that when state voters agreed to expand eligibility for government-funded health care, they did not intend for it to be a blank check.

“By statute, the voters can't direct the Legislature to function in a certain way. I think the voters were suggesting that the Legislature use its best effort,” said Mr. Kanefield during oral arguments. He insisted voters never would have adopted Proposition 204 in 2000 if they had been fully aware of the eventual cost.