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Posts tagged: health care reform lawsuit

McKenna v. health care reform, Part 2

OLYMPIA — So the day after Attorney General Rob McKenna announced he was joining the lawsuit to challenge federal health care reform, things got ramped up a few notches.

President Obama signed the bill, and Vice President Joe Biden weighed in that this was a BFD.

McKenna didn’t personally answer most media inquiries about his decision, but his staff posted FAQs on the AG Web site and he did do an interview with KING-TV.

Gov. Chris Gregoire repeated her criticism of McKenna’s decision, both at an afternoon press conference and in a separate KING-TV session.

The Washington Policy Center, a conservative think tank, released a review of health care reform that contends it would hurt Washington residents.

State Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, said he was introducing a bill to keep federal health care mandates from taking effect in Washington, and directing the attorney general to sue to enforce them.(Interesting, considering Benton, who is running against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, has not been in Olympia for the special session.)

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Eastern Washington, came out in support of fellow Republican McKenna. So did state Sens. Janea Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, and Val Stevens, R-Arlington, who mentioned they had introduced earlier in the session a bill that would keep federal health care mandates from taking effect in Washington. (But doesn’t require an AG to enforce that, like Benton’s bill does. Their bill got no hearing, and no vote in the regular session, but was resurrected for the special session.)

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, sent McKenna a letter asking him to reconsider, and called Benton’s legislation “more theatrics than substance” and said it has “zero chance” of passing in the special session, which is mainly relegated to the budget. The Legislature is at recess until Thursday, so Republicans have a bit of time to strategize a way to try to bring it up, if they are so inclined. (And no, recess for legislators does not include kickball and snacks.)

The Washington State Labor Council asked him to drop the lawsuit. (Yeah, organized labor telling a GOP attorney general to do something…that’ll do it.)

The State Democratic Party filed a public records request for any correspondence or other documents involving McKenna’s decision to join the lawsuit, saying the public has a right to know if he was doing this on behalf of the National Republican Party or the insurance industry.

And with that, you’re pretty much fully briefed. Go inside the blog to see the details, watch some dueling video of the gov and AG, or leave a comment.

McKenna v. health care reform

OLYMPIA—Things were happening so fast and furious Tuesday with Attorney General Rob McKenna’s opting in to a lawsuit against federal health care reform that not everything could fit into this morning’s print edition story.

Based on the number of comments these stories are generating, there may be some appetite for more information. We’re more than happy to oblige.

So here’s a recap:

McKenna announced on Monday he was joining other states in challenging the health care reform that passed on Sunday and was being signed on Tuesday. He was out of town in the morning, and his office couldn’t confirm it until 1 p.m.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said at 1:30 p.m. Monday that McKenna hadn’t consulted with her about filing a lawsuit, and she thought he was getting in on the wrong side of the fight because Washington stands to benefit from health care reform. Her office issued a statement a few hours later.

Several other Democrats weighed in that afternoon and evening, including State Democratic Chairman Dwight Pelz, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee. Jumping in on behalf of McKenna was Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley. (Yes, Shea’s political affiliation was incorrect in Tuesday morning’s story. We apologize to members of both parties who were incensed, and thank them for reading all the way to the bottom of the story.)

Go inside the blog to read full texts of these statements. Tuesday recap continues above.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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