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13 Yale J. on Reg. 255 (1996)
Travelers Insurance: New Support for the Argument to Restrain ERISA Pre-Emption

handle is hein.journals/yjor13 and id is 261 raw text is: Travelers Insurance: New Support
for the Argument to Restrain
ERISA Pre-emption
Karen A. Jordant
In recent years, courts have applied the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 (ERISA ) to pre-empt an increasingly wide scope of state
laws, with the effect of limiting remedies of plan participants and beneficiaries
and frustrating state health care reform efforts. Professor Jordan argues that
the recent Supreme Court decision in New York State Conference of Blue
Cross & Blue Shield v. Travelers Insurance Co. is a signal from the Court that
ERISA pre-emption should be applied more narrowly. She first analyzes the
Court's prior pre-emption decisions and identifies delimiting language unheeded
by lower courts. She then explores the impact of Travelers on ERISA pre-
emption analysis, finding the decision renews emphasis on the historical
presumption against pre-empting laws within state police power and takes a
more pragmatic approach to discerning congressional intent regarding ERISA
pre-emption. Finally, by examining certain emerging pre-emption issues,
namely those involving provider taxes and contract and tort claims she assesses
the effectiveness of the analytical framework derived from Travelers and prior
Supreme Court cases in restraining the scope of ERISA pre-emption. Professor
Jordan concludes that the framework can effectively restrain findings of pre-
emption and should lead to more rational pre-emption decisions.
Introduction  ....................................                256
I. ERISA Pre-emption: The Scope of the Phrase Relate To before
Travelers  ...................................               261
A.   Supreme Court Pronouncements ................. 262
1.   Laws Found to Relate To ERISA Plans ........ 263
2.   Limitations on the Scope of the Phrase Relate To . . 268
B.   Inconsistencies in Applying Supreme Court Precedent .... 271
1.   The Hospital Rate-Setting Legislation at Issue ..... 273
2.   The Split in the Circuits .................... 280
II.  The Supreme Court Decision in Travelers .............. 282
A. An Indirect Economic Impact Is Not a Regulation of an
ERISA  Plan  ..............................             282
B. Analysis: A Signal for a More Restrained Application of
tAssistant Professor, University of Louisville School of Law. J.D., summa cum laude,
Indiana University School of Law. Previously, Assistant Director, the Center for Law and Health,
Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.
Copyright © 1996 by the Yale Journal on Regulation

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