The principal question presented by these cases is whether a federal district court has jurisdiction to review a final order of the Secretary of Health and Human Services refusing to reimburse a State for a category of expenditures under its Medicaid program. All of the Courts of Appeals that have confronted this precise question have agreed that district courts do have jurisdiction in such cases.
In 1965 Congress authorized the Medicaid program by adding Title XIX to the Social Security Act, 79 Stat. 343. The program is "a cooperative endeavor in which the Federal Government provides financial assistance to participating States to aid them in furnishing health care to needy persons." Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297, 308 (1980). Subject to the federal standards incorporated in the statute and the Secretary's regulations, each participating State must develop its own program describing conditions of eligibility and covered services. At present, 18 different categories of medical assistance are authorized. See Connecticut Dept. of Income Maintenance v. Heckler, 471 U. S., at 528-529.
Although the federal contribution to a State's Medicaid program is referred to as a "reimbursement," the stream of revenue is actually a series of huge quarterly advance payments
Massachusetts has participated in the Medicaid program continuously since 1966. One of the categories of assistance covered by the Massachusetts program is the provision of medical and rehabilitative services to patients in intermediate
On August 26, 1983, the State filed a complaint in the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The State's complaint invoked federal jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U. S. C. § 1331 and alleged that the United States had waived its sovereign immunity through 5 U. S. C. § 702. The complaint requested declaratory and injunctive relief and specifically asked the District Court to "set aside" the Board's order.
On August 27, 1985, the District Court issued an opinion in the first disallowance case. It did not discuss the jurisdictional issue. On the merits, it held that the services in question were in fact rehabilitative, and that this classification was not barred by the fact that the Department of Education had played a role in their provision. Massachusetts v. Heckler, 616 F.Supp. 687 (Mass. 1985) (case below). Its judgment, dated October 7, 1985, simply "reversed" the Board's decision disallowing reimbursement of the sum of $6,414,964 in FFP under the Medicaid program. App. to Pet. for Cert. 32a. On November 25, 1985, in a second opinion relying on the analysis of the first, the court reversed the Board's second disallowance determination. Massachusetts v. Heckler, 622 F.Supp. 266 (Mass. 1985) (case below). It entered an appropriate judgment on December 2, 1985. App. to Pet. for Cert. 36a. That judgment did not purport to state what amount of money, if any, was owed by the United States to Massachusetts, nor did it order that any payment be made.
The Secretary at first had challenged the District Court's subject-matter jurisdiction,
On the merits, the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court that the Secretary could not lawfully exclude the rehabilitative services provided to the mentally retarded just because the State had labeled them (in part) "educational" services and had used Department of Education personnel to help provide them. It therefore affirmed the District Court's holding that the decisions of the Grant Appeals Board must be reversed because the Secretary's "special education exclusion" violated the statute. It held, however, that it could not rule that the services in dispute were reimbursable because it had "no evidentiary basis for doing so." Id., at 804. In sum, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's declaratory judgment, vacated the "money judgment" against the Secretary, and remanded to the Secretary for further determinations regarding whether the services are reimbursable.
In his petition for certiorari, the Secretary asked us to decide that the United States Claims Court had exclusive jurisdiction over the State's claim.
Since it is undisputed that the 1976 amendment to § 702 was intended to broaden the avenues for judicial review of
In 1975, in a case seeking review of a disallowance decision by the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that the decision was reviewable in the District Court. County of Alameda v. Weinberger, 520 F.2d 344. It would be difficult to question the fact that the disallowance decision was "agency action" that "adversely affected" the State, and that, accordingly, the State was "entitled to judicial review thereof."
The 1976 amendment contains no language suggesting that Congress disagreed with the Ninth Circuit decision. The amendment added the following sentence to the already broad coverage of § 702:
Neither a disallowance decision, nor the reversal of a disallowance decision, is properly characterized as an award of "damages." Either decision is an adjustment — and, indeed, usually a relatively minor one — in the size of the federal grant to the State that is payable in huge quarterly installments. Congress has used the terms "overpayment" and "underpayment" to describe such adjustments in the open account between the parties,
Our cases have long recognized the distinction between an action at law for damages — which are intended to provide a victim with monetary compensation for an injury to his person, property, or reputation — and an equitable action for specific relief — which may include an order providing for the reinstatement of an employee with backpay, or for "the recovery of specific property or monies, ejectment from land, or injunction either directing or restraining the defendant officer's actions." Larson v. Domestic & Foreign Commerce Corp., 337 U.S. 682, 688 (1949) (emphasis added). The fact that a judicial remedy may require one party to pay money to another is not a sufficient reason to characterize the relief as "money damages." Thus, we have recognized that relief
Judge Bork's explanation of the plain meaning of the critical language in this statute merits quotation in full. In his opinion for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Maryland Dept. of Human Resources v. Department of Health and Human Services, 246 U. S. App. D. C. 180, 763 F.2d 1441 (1985),
In arguing for a narrow construction of the 1976 amendment — which was unquestionably intended to broaden the coverage of § 702 — the Secretary asks us to substitute the words "monetary relief" for the words "money damages" actually selected by Congress. Given the obvious difference in meaning between the two terms and the well-settled presumption that Congress understands the state of existing law when it legislates, see, e. g., Cannon v. University of Chicago, 441 U.S. 677, 696-697 (1979), only the most compelling reasons could justify a revision of a statutory text that is this unambiguous. Nevertheless, we have considered the Secretary's argument that the legislative history of § 702 supports his reading of the amendment.
The 1976 amendment to § 702 was an important part of a major piece of legislation designed to remove "technical" obstacles to access to the federal courts.
Two propositions are perfectly clear. The first concerns the text of the amendment. There is no evidence that any legislator in 1976 understood the words "money damages" to have any meaning other than the ordinary understanding of the term as used in the common law for centuries. No one suggested that the term was the functional equivalent of a broader concept such as "monetary relief" and no one proposed that the broader term be substituted for the familiar one.
Second, both the House and Senate Committee Reports indicate that Congress understood that § 702, as amended, would authorize judicial review of the "administration of Federal grant-in-aid programs."
If we turn to the 1970 Hearing and the earlier scholarly writings, we find that the terms "monetary relief" and "money damages" were sometimes used interchangeably. That fact is of only minimal significance, however, for several reasons. First, given the high caliber of the scholars who testified, it seems obvious that if they had intended the exclusion for proceedings seeking "money damages" to encompass all proceedings seeking any form of monetary relief, they would have drafted their proposal differently. Second, they cited cases involving challenges to federal grant-in-aid programs as examples of the Government's reliance on a sovereign-immunity defense that should be covered by the proposed legislation.
Judge Bork's summary of the legislative history is especially convincing:
Thus, the combined effect of the 1970 Hearing and the 1976 legislative materials is to demonstrate conclusively that the exception for an action seeking "money damages" should not be broadened beyond the meaning of its plain language. The State's suit to enforce § 1396b(a) of the Medicaid Act, which provides that the Secretary "shall pay" certain amounts for appropriate Medicaid services, is not a suit seeking money in compensation for the damage sustained by the failure of the Federal Government to pay as mandated; rather, it is a suit seeking to enforce the statutory mandate itself, which happens to be one for the payment of money.
The Secretary's novel submission that the entire action is barred by § 704 must be rejected because the doubtful and limited relief available in the Claims Court is not an adequate substitute for review in the District Court. A brief review of the principal purpose of § 704 buttresses this conclusion.
Section 704 was enacted in 1946 as § 10(c) of the APA. In pertinent part, it provided:
Earlier drafts of what became § 704 provided that "only final actions, rules, or orders, or those for which there is no other adequate judicial remedy . . . shall be subject to such review," or that "[e]very final agency action, or agency action for which there is no other adequate remedy in any court, shall be subject to judicial review."
The exception that was intended to avoid such duplication should not be construed to defeat the central purpose of providing a broad spectrum of judicial review of agency action.
A restrictive interpretation of § 704 would unquestionably, in the words of Justice Black, "run counter to § 10 and § 12 of the Administrative Procedure Act. Their purpose was to remove obstacles to judicial review of agency action under subsequently enacted statutes . . . ." Shaughnessy v. Pedreiro, 349 U.S. 48, 51 (1955).
The Secretary argues that § 704 should be construed to bar review of the agency action in the District Court because monetary relief against the United States is available in the Claims Court under the Tucker Act. This restrictive — and unprecedented — interpretation of § 704 should be rejected because the remedy available to the State in the Claims Court is plainly not the kind of "special and adequate review procedure" that will oust a district court of its normal jurisdiction under the APA.
The Claims Court does not have the general equitable powers of a district court to grant prospective relief. Indeed, we have stated categorically that "the Court of Claims has no power to grant equitable relief."
Moreover, in some cases the jurisdiction of the Claims Court to entertain the action, or perhaps even to enter a specific money judgment against the United States, would be at least doubtful.
Further, the nature of the controversies that give rise to disallowance decisions typically involve state governmental
We agree with the position advanced by the State in its cross-petition — that the judgments of the District Court should have been affirmed in their entirety — for two independent reasons. First, neither of the District Court's orders in these cases was a "money judgment," as the Court of Appeals held. The first order (followed in the second, see Part I, supra) simply "reversed" the "decision of the Department Grant Appeals Board of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Decision No. 438 (May 31, 1983)."
Second, even if the District Court's orders are construed in part as orders for the payment of money by the Federal Government to the State, such payments are not "money damages," see Part II, supra, and the orders are not excepted from § 702's grant of power by § 704, see Part III, supra. That is, since the orders are for specific relief (they undo the Secretary's refusal to reimburse the State) rather than for money damages (they do not provide relief that substitutes for that which ought to have been done) they are within the District Court's jurisdiction under § 702's waiver of sovereign immunity. See Part II, supra. The District Court's jurisdiction to award complete relief in these cases is not barred by the possibility that a purely monetary judgment may be entered in the Claims Court. See Part III, supra.
Thus, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
The Court construes the District Court's orders as not having entered a judgment for money damages within the meaning of 5 U. S. C. § 702. I am prepared to accept that view of what the District Court did, although the Court of Appeals had a different view.
The Court's opinion, as I understand it, also concludes that the District Court, in the circumstances present here, would have had jurisdiction to entertain and expressly grant a prayer for a money judgment against the United States. I am unprepared to agree with this aspect of the opinion and hence concur only in the result the Court reaches with respect to the construction of § 702.
JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and JUSTICE KENNEDY join, dissenting.
The Court holds for the State because it finds that these suits do not seek money damages, and involve claims for which there is no "adequate remedy" in the Claims Court. I disagree with both propositions, and therefore respectfully dissent.
"The States of the Union, like all other entities, are barred by federal sovereign immunity from suing the United States in the absence of an express waiver of this immunity by Congress." Block v. North Dakota ex rel. Bd. of Univ. and School Lands, 461 U.S. 273, 280 (1983). For this waiver, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (hereafter respondent) relies on a provision added to § 10 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in 1976:
The Government contends that respondent's lawsuits seek "money damages" and therefore § 702 is unavailing.
In legal parlance, the term "damages" refers to money awarded as reparation for injury resulting from breach of legal duty. Webster's Third New International Dictionary
The use of the term "damages" (or "money damages") in a context dealing with legal remedies would naturally be thought to advert to this classic distinction. This interpretation is reinforced by the desirability of reading § 702 in pari materia with the Tucker Act, 28 U. S. C. § 1491, which grants the Claims Court jurisdiction over certain suits against the Government. Although the Tucker Act is not expressly limited to claims for money damages, it "has long been construed as authorizing only actions for money judgments and not suits for equitable relief against the United States. See United States v. Jones, 131 U.S. 1 (1889). The reason for the distinction flows from the fact that the Court of Claims has no power to grant equitable relief. . . ." Richardson v. Morris, 409 U.S. 464, 465 (1973) (per curiam); see Lee v. Thornton, 420 U.S. 139, 140 (1975) (per curiam) (Tucker Act jurisdiction empowers courts "to award damages but not to grant injunctive or declaratory relief"); United States v. King, 395 U.S. 1, 3 (1969) (relief the Claims Court can give is "limited to actual, presently due money damages from the United States"); Glidden Co. v. Zdanok, 370 U.S. 530, 557 (1962) (Harlan, J., announcing the judgment of the Court) ("From the beginning [the Court of Claims] has been given jurisdiction only to award damages,
The Court agrees that "the words `money damages' [were not intended to] have any meaning other than the ordinary understanding of the term as used in the common law for centuries," ante, at 897, and that § 702 encompasses "the time-honored distinction between damages and specific relief," ibid. It concludes, however, that respondent's suits seek the latter and not the former. The first theory the Court puts forward to support this conclusion is that, "insofar as [respondent's] complaints sought declaratory and injunctive relief, they were certainly not actions for money damages," ante, at 893, and since the District Court simply reversed the decision of the Departmental Grant Appeals Board, "neither of [its] orders in this case was a `money judgment,' " ante, at 909. I cannot agree (nor do I think the Court really agrees) with this reasoning. If the jurisdictional division established by Congress is not to be reduced to an absurdity, the line between damages and specific relief must surely be drawn on the basis of the substance of the claim, and not its mere form. It does not take much lawyerly inventiveness to convert a
The Court's second theory is that "the monetary aspects of the relief that the State sought are not `money damages' as that term is used in the law," ante, at 893; see ante, at 910. This at least focuses on the right question: whether the claim is in substance one for money damages. But the reason the Court gives for answering the question negatively, that respondent's suits are not "seeking money in compensation for the damage sustained by the failure of the Federal Government to pay as mandated," ante, at 900, is simply wrong. Respondent sought money to compensate for the monetary loss (damage) it sustained by expending resources to provide services to the mentally retarded in reliance on the Government's statutory duty to reimburse, just as a Government contractor's suit seeks compensation for the loss the contractor sustains by expending resources to provide services to the Government in reliance on the Government's contractual duty to pay. Respondent's lawsuits thus precisely fit the classic definition of suits for money damages.
The Court's second theory, that "the monetary aspects of the relief that the State sought are not `money damages,' " ante, at 893, is not only wrong, but it produces the same disastrous consequences as the first theory. As discussed above, see supra, at 913-915, and as the Court recognizes, see ante, at 905, and n. 40, the Claims Court has jurisdiction only to award damages, not specific relief. But if actions seeking past due sums are actions for specific relief, since "they undo the [Government's] refusal" to pay the plaintiff, ante, at 910, then the Claims Court is out of business. Almost its entire docket fits this description. In the past, typical actions have included suits by Government employees to obtain money allegedly due by statute which the Government refused to pay. See, e. g., Ellis v. United States, 222 Ct. Cl. 65, 610 F.2d 760 (1979) (claim under 5 U. S. C. § 8336(c), entitling law enforcement officers and firefighters to special retirement benefits); Friedman v. United States, 159 Ct. Cl. 1, 30-31, 310 F.2d 381, 396-397 (1962) (claim under 10 U. S. C. § 1201 et seq., entitling servicemen to disability retirement benefits), cert. denied sub nom. Lipp v. United States, 373 U.S. 932 (1963); Smykowski v. United States, 227 Ct. Cl. 284, 285, 647 F.2d 1103, 1104 (1981) (claim under
Most of these suits will now have to be brought in the district courts, as suits for specific relief "to undo the Government's refusal to pay." Alas, however, not all can be. The most regrettable consequence of the Court's analysis is its effect upon suits for a sum owed under a contract with the Government. In the past, the Claims Court has routinely exercised jurisdiction over a seller's action for the price. See, e. g., Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. v. United States, 210 Ct. Cl. 46, 535 F.2d 24 (1976); Northern Helex Co. v. United States, 197 Ct. Cl. 118, 455 F.2d 546 (1972); Paisner v. United States, 138 Ct. Cl. 420, 150 F.Supp. 835 (1957), cert. denied, 355 U.S. 941 (1958); R. M. Hollingshead Corp. v. United States, 124 Ct. Cl. 681, 111 F.Supp. 285 (1953). But since, on the Court's theory, such a suit is not a suit for money damages but rather for specific relief, that jurisdiction
I am sure, however, that neither the judges of the Claims Court nor Government contractors need worry. The Court cannot possibly mean what it says today — except, of course, the judgment. What that leaves, unfortunately, is a judgment without a reason.
I agree with the Court that sovereign immunity does not bar respondent's actions insofar as they seek injunctive or declaratory relief with prospective effect. An action seeking an order that will prevent the wrongful disallowance of future
I do not agree, however, that respondent can pursue these suits in district court, as it has sought to, under the provisions of the APA, since in my view they are barred by 5 U. S. C. § 704, which is entitled "Actions reviewable," and which reads in relevant part:
The purpose and effect of this provision is to establish that the APA "does not provide additional judicial remedies in situations where the Congress has provided special and adequate review procedures." Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act § 10(c), p. 101 (1947); see Estate of Watson v. Blumenthal, 586 F.2d 925, 934 (CA2 1978); Alabama Rural Fire Ins. Co. v. Naylor, 530 F. 2d, at 1230; International Engineering Co. v. Richardson, 167 U. S. App. D. C. 396, 403, 512 F.2d 573, 580 (1975); Warner v. Cox, 487 F.2d 1301, 1304 (CA5 1974); Mohawk Airlines, Inc. v. CAB, 117 U. S. App. D. C. 326, 329 F.2d 894 (1964); Ove Gustavsson Contracting Co. v. Floete, 278 F.2d 912, 914 (CA2 1960); K. Davis, Administrative Law § 211, p. 720 (1951). Respondent has an adequate remedy in a court and may not proceed under the APA in the District Court because (1) an action for reimbursement may be brought in the Claims Court pursuant to the Tucker Act, and (2) that action provides all the relief respondent seeks.
The Tucker Act grants the Claims Court
The Claims Court has not always clearly identified which of the several branches of jurisdiction recited in this provision it is proceeding under. It has held that Government grant instruments, although not formal contracts, give rise to enforceable obligations analogous to contracts. See, e. g., Missouri Health & Medical Organization, Inc. v. United States, 226 Ct. Cl., at 278, 641 F. 2d, at 873; Idaho Migrant Council, Inc. v. United States, 9 Cl. Ct., at 89. The Medicaid Act itself can be analogized to a unilateral offer for contract — offering to pay specified sums in return for the performance of specified services and inviting the States to accept the offer by performance. But regardless of the propriety of invoking the Claims Court's contractual jurisdiction, I agree with the Secretary that respondent can assert a claim "founded . . . upon [an] Act of Congress," to wit, the Medicaid provision mandating that "the Secretary (except as otherwise provided in this section) shall pay to each State which has a plan approved under this subchapter" the amounts specified by statutory formula. 42 U. S. C. § 1396b(a) (emphasis added).
We have held that a statute does not create a cause of action for money damages unless it " `can fairly be interpreted as mandating compensation by the Federal Government for the damage sustained.' " United States v. Testan, supra, at 400, quoting Eastport S. S. Corp. v. United States, 178 Ct. Cl. 599, 607, 372 F.2d 1002, 1009 (1967). Although § 1396b(a) does not, in so many words, mandate damages, a statute commanding the payment of a specified amount of money by the United States impliedly authorizes (absent other indication) a claim for damages in the defaulted amount. See, e. g., Bell v. United States, 366 U.S. 393, 398
I conclude, therefore, that respondent may bring an action in the Claims Court based on § 1396b(a). The Court does not disagree with this conclusion but does comment that "[i]t seems likely that while Congress intended `shall pay' language in statutes such as the Back Pay Act to be self-enforcing — i. e., to create both a right and a remedy — it intended similar language in § 1396b(a) of the Medicaid Act to provide merely a right, knowing that the APA provided for review of this sort of agency action." Ante, at 906, n. 42. I fail to understand this reasoning, if it is intended as reasoning rather than as an unsupported conclusion. The only basis the Court provides for treating differently statutes with identical language is that Congress knew "that the APA provided for review of this sort of agency action [i. e., denial of
There remains to be considered whether the relief available in the Claims Court, damages for failure to pay a past due allocation, is an "adequate remedy" within the meaning of § 704. Like the term "damages," the phrase "adequate remedy" is not of recent coinage. It has an established, centuries-old, common-law meaning in the context of specific relief — to wit, that specific relief will be denied when damages are available and are sufficient to make the plaintiff whole. See, e. g., 1 W. Holdsworth, A History of English Law 457 (7th ed. 1956) (by the 18th century "it was settled that equity would only grant specific relief if damages were not an adequate remedy"). Thus, even though a plaintiff may often prefer a judicial order enjoining a harmful act or omission before it occurs, damages after the fact are considered an "adequate remedy" in all but the most extraordinary cases. See, e. g., Schoenthal v. Irving Trust Co., 287 U.S. 92, 94 (1932); Gaines v. Miller, 111 U.S. 395, 397-398 (1884); 5A A. Corbin, Contracts § 1136, pp. 95-96, § 1142, pp. 117-120 (1964); H. Hunter, Modern Law of Contracts: Breaches and Remedies ¶ 6.01, pp. 6-7 to 6-8 (1986); Farnsworth, 70 Colum. L. Rev. 1154; cf. Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto Co., 467 U.S. 986, 1017 (1984). There may be circumstances in which damages relief in the Claims Court is available, but is not an adequate remedy. For example, if a State could prove that the Secretary intended in the future to deny Medicaid reimbursement in bad faith, forcing the State to commence a new suit for each disputed period, an action for injunctive relief in district court would lie. See, e. g., Franklin Telegraph Co. v. Harrison, 145 U.S. 459, 474 (1892). Or if a State wished to set up a new program providing certain services that the Secretary had made clear his intention to disallow
The Court does not dispute that in the present cases an action in Claims Court would provide respondent complete relief. Respondent can assert immediately a claim for money damages in Claims Court, which if successful will as effectively establish its rights as would a declaratory judgment in district court. Since there is no allegation that the Secretary will not honor in the future a Claims Court judgment that would have not only precedential but collateral-estoppel effect, see Montana v. United States, 440 U.S. 147, 157-158, 162-163 (1979), the ability to bring an action in Claims Court
Rather than trying to argue that the Claims Court remedy is inadequate in this case, the Court declares in a footnote that "[s]ince, as a category of case, alleged `improper Medicaid disallowances' cannot always be adequately remedied in the Claims Court, as a jurisdictional, or threshold matter, these actions should proceed in the district court." Ante, at 907, n. 43. This novel approach completely ignores the well-established meaning of "adequate remedy," which refers to the adequacy of a remedy for a particular plaintiff in a particular case rather than the adequacy of a remedy for the average plaintiff in the average case of the sort at issue. Although the Court emphasizes that the phrase "money damages" should be interpreted according to "the ordinary understanding of the term as used in the common law for centuries," ante, at 897, it appears to forget that prescription when it turns to the equally ancient phrase "adequate remedy." Evidently, whether to invoke "ordinary understanding" rather than novel meaning depends on the task at hand. In any event, were the Court's rationale taken seriously, it would (like the Court's novel analysis of "money damages" in § 702) divest the Claims Court of the bulk of its docket. It is difficult to think of a category of case that can "always be adequately remedied in the Claims Court." Nor is a categorical rule for challenges to Medicaid disallowance decisions justifiable on the basis that in most (not just some) such cases prospective or injunctive relief is required, and therefore it is efficient to have a bright-line rule. The traditional legal presumption (and the common-sense presumption) with respect to all other statutes that obligate the Government to pay money is that money damages are ordinarily an adequate remedy. I am aware of no empirical evidence to rebut that presumption with respect to Medicaid. Among the reported disallowance decisions, there appear to be none where a State has asserted a basis for prospective injunctive relief.
Finally, the Court suggests that Medicaid disallowance suits are more suitably heard in district court with appeal to the regional courts of appeals than in the Claims Court with appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, because (1) disallowance decisions have "state-law aspects" over which the regional courts of appeals have a better grasp, ante, at 908, (2) it is anomalous to have Medicaid compliance decisions reviewed in the regional courts of appeals while reviewing disallowance decisions in Claims Court, ibid., and (3) it is "highly unlikely that Congress intended to designate an
* * *
Nothing is more wasteful than litigation about where to litigate, particularly when the options are all courts within the same legal system that will apply the same law. Today's decision is a potential cornucopia of waste. Since its reasoning cannot possibly be followed where it leads, the jurisdiction of the Claims Court has been thrown into chaos. On the other hand, perhaps this is the opinion's greatest strength. Since it cannot possibly be followed where it leads, the lower courts may have the sense to conclude that it leads nowhere, and to limit it to the single type of suit before us. Even so, because I think there is no justification in law for treating this single type of suit differently, I dissent.
"(d) Estimates of State entitlement; installments; adjustments to reflect overpayments or underpayments; time for recovery or adjustment; uncollectable or discharged debts; obligated appropriations; disputed claims
"(1) Prior to the beginning of each quarter, the Secretary shall estimate the amount to which a State will be entitled under subsections (a) and (b) of this section for such quarter, such estimates to be based on (A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such subsections, and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditures in such quarter, and if such amount is less than the State's proportionate share of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived, and (B) such other investigation as the Secretary may find necessary.
"(2)(A) The Secretary shall then pay to the State, in such installments as he may determine, the amount so estimated, reduced or increased to the extent of any overpayment or underpayment which the Secretary determines was made under this section to such State for any prior quarter and with respect to which adjustment has not already been made under this subsection."
"(5) In any case in which the Secretary estimates that there has been an overpayment under this section to a State on the basis of a claim by such State that has been disallowed by the Secretary under section 1316(d) of this title, and such State disputes such disallowance, the amount of the Federal payment in controversy shall, at the option of the State, be retained by such State or recovered by the Secretary pending a final determination with respect to such payment amount. If such final determination is to the effect that any amount was properly disallowed, and the State chose to retain payment of the amount in controversy, the Secretary shall offset, from any subsequent payments made to such State under this subchapter, an amount equal to the proper amount of the disallowance plus interest on such amount disallowed for the period beginning on the date such amount was disallowed and ending on the date of such final determination at a rate (determined by the Secretary) based on the average of the bond equivalent of the weekly 90-day treasury bill auction rates during such period."
The Federal Government contributed $546 million to Massachusetts for ICF/MR services during the years 1978-1982. Letter from Anthony Parker, Statistician, Division of Medicaid Statistics, Department of Health and Human Services, dated June 14, 1988 (available in Clerk of Court's case file). Since this amount is only a fraction of the Federal Government's total Medicaid contribution to the State for those years — which amounted to nearly $5 billion, see ibid. — it is apparent that, as the Secretary's Grant Appeals Board noted, the disallowances at issue in this case affected only "a proportionally small amount" of the federal subsidy. App to Pet. for Cert. 80a.
"Wherefore, the plaintiff requests that this Court grant the following relief:
"1. Enjoin the Secretary and the Administrator from failing or refusing to reimburse the Commonwealth or from recovering from the Commonwealth the federal share of expenditures for medical assistance to eligible residents of intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded.
"2. Set aside the Board's Decision No. 438.
"3. Grant such declaratory and other relief as the Court deems just." App. to Pet. for Cert. 98a-99a.
"On remand the district court should send the case back to the Secretary for action consistent with the Medicaid Act as interpreted in this decision. Should the Secretary persist in withholding reimbursement for reasons inconsistent with our decision, the Commonwealth's remedy would be a suit for money past due under the Tucker Act in the Claims Court. In that subsequent suit we assume that the Secretary would be collaterally estopped from raising issues decided here." 816 F. 2d, at 800.
"Whether the United States Claims Court has exclusive jurisdiction over a civil action against the United States that includes both a Tucker Act claim for more than $10,000 in money damages and a claim for declaratory or injunctive relief involving the same issues as the Tucker Act claim, or whether such an action can be split into two lawsuits, with the district court and the regional court of appeals having jurisdiction over the claim for prospective relief, and the Claims Court having jurisdiction over the claim for retrospective relief." Pet. for Cert. (I).
"Whether the United States District Court has jurisdiction under 28 U. S. C. § 1331, and 5 U. S. C. § 701 et seq., to grant complete relief in an action which seeks judicial review of a final decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to deny coverage under the Medicaid Act of certain services rendered by a State to retarded citizens." Pet. for Cert. in No. 87-929, p. i.
"The United States may be named as a defendant in any such action, and a judgment or decree may be entered against the United States: Provided, That any mandatory or injunctive decree shall specify the Federal officer or officers (by name or by title), and their successors in office, personally responsible for compliance. Nothing herein (1) affects other limitations on judicial review or the power or duty of the court to dismiss any action or deny relief on any other appropriate legal or equitable ground; or (2) confers authority to grant relief if any other statute that grants consent to suit expressly or impliedly forbids the relief which is sought."
Moreover, Congress has not created an express cause of action providing for the review of disallowance decisions in the Claims Court. To construe statutes such as the Back Pay Act and the old 37 U. S. C. § 242, supra this page, as "mandating compensation by the Federal Government for the damage sustained," 372 F. 2d, at 1009, one must imply from the language of such statutes a cause of action. The touchstone here, of course, is whether Congress intended a cause of action that it did not expressly provide. See, e. g., Thompson v. Thompson, 484 U.S. 174 (1988); Cort v. Ash, 422 U.S. 66 (1975). It seems likely that while Congress intended "shall pay" language in statutes such as the Back Pay Act to be self-enforcing — i. e., to create both a right and a remedy — it intended similar language in § 1396b(a) of the Medicaid Act to provide merely a right, knowing that the APA provided for review of this sort of agency action.
In rejecting the Government's plea for Claims Court jurisdiction in a similar case, Judge Wright of the Delaware District Court explained "the importance of District Court review of agency action":
"[T]he policies of the APA take precedence over the purposes of the Tucker Act. In the conflict between two statutes, established principles of statutory construction mandate a broad construction of the APA and a narrow interpretation of the Tucker Act. The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction, because its jurisdiction is statutorily granted and it is to be strictly construed.
"Much recent academic writing emphasizes the importance of District Court review of agency action. The theoretical justification for judicial review of agency action is grounded in concerns about constraining the exercise of discretionary power by administrative agencies. That power is legitimized by the technical expertise of agencies. But judicial review promotes fidelity to statutory requirements, and, when congresional intent is ambiguous, it increases the likelihood that the regulatory process will be a responsible exercise of discretion.
"The policies of the APA take precedence over the Tucker Act and plaintiff's action should properly be treated as a final agency action reviewable in District Court." 665 F. Supp., at 1117-1118 (citations omitted).
"For the reasons set forth in this Court's August 27, 1985 Memorandum and Order, it is hereby ordered and adjudged that the decision of the Department Grant Appeals Board of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Decision No. 438 (May 31, 1983) which disallowed reimbursement to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the sum of $6,414,964 in federal financial participation under the Medicaid program, 42 U. S. C. §§ 1396 et seq., is reversed.
"Dated this 7th day of October, 1985." App. to Pet. for Cert. 32a.
"To the extent necessary to decision and when presented, the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. The reviewing court shall —
"(1) compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed; and
"(2) hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be —
"(A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;
"(B) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;
"(C) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right;
"(D) without observance of procedure required by law;
"(E) unsupported by substantial evidence in a case subject to sections 556 and 557 of this title or otherwise reviewed on the record of an agency hearing provided by statute; or
"(F) unwarranted by the facts to the extent that the facts are subject to trial de novo by the reviewing court.
"In making the foregoing determinations, the court shall review the whole record or those parts of it cited by a party, and due account shall be taken of the rule of prejudicial error."