United States District Court, C.D. California
Jeannette Martello, Pro Se, Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs.
Cindy Lopez, Kristin Door, Attorneys Present for Defendants.
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
CHRISTINA A. SNYDER, District Judge.
Proceedings: DEFENDANT KIMBERLY KIRCHMEYER'S MOTION TO DISMISS (dkt. 21, filed April 21, 2015) DEFENDANT SHELLEY ROUILLARD'S MOTION TO DISMISS (dkt. 24, filed May 6, 2015)
On March 11, 2015, plaintiff Jeannette Martello, a plastic surgeon, filed this lawsuit against defendants Shelley Rouillard, in her official capacity as Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care ("DMHC"), Kimberly Kirchmeyer, in her official capacity as Director of the Medical Board of California ("Medical Board"), and Does 1 through 20. Dkt. 1. Plaintiff alleges that defendants' continued enforcement against her of California laws prohibiting the practice of "balance billing" in certain health care contexts violates the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2.
Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the state laws at issue are preempted by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 18001, et seq. (the "ACA"), as well as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq. ("ERISA"). Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment stating that California's prohibition on balance billing is preempted by federal law, as well as a permanent injunction enjoining defendants from enforcing the allegedly preempted state laws.
Also on March 11, 2015, plaintiff filed an ex parte application for a temporary restraining order, dkt. 3, which the Court denied by order dated March 12, 2015, dkt. 8. Plaintiff subsequently filed a second application for a temporary restraining order on March 25, 2015, dkts. 9, 10, which the Court likewise denied by order dated March 26, 2015, dkt. 12.
On April 21, 2015, defendant Kirchmeyer filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint. Dkt. 21. On May 6, 2015, defendant Rouillard also filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, dkt. 24, which defendant Kirchmeyer subsequently joined, dkt. 28. Additionally, both defendants filed requests for judicial notice. Dkts. 21-2, 24-2.
On June 23, 2015, plaintiff belatedly filed oppositions to defendants' motions. Dkts. 32, 33. The Court held a hearing on July 6, 2015. Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.
A. The Parties
Plaintiff Martello is a plastic surgeon licensed to practice medicine in California. Compl. § II, ¶¶ 1, 7. Through this action, she purports to represent herself "and the interests of California physicians." Id . ¶ 1.
Defendant Kirchmeyer is the Director of the Medical Board of California ("Medical Board"), a state administrative agency responsible for the supervision, regulation, and discipline of physicians. See Compl. § II, ¶ 8. The Medical Board is charged with, inter alia, "the enforcement of the disciplinary and ...