Health Care War Continues in Washington

On Tuesday the president signed the health care reform bill, which to some is a BFD, and I’m not talking about fire departments. Locals were talking about it. Also on Tuesday some state attorneys general, including ours, joined in a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of some of the bill’s provisions.

In response the Legislature might write into the budget a provision limiting the AG’s ability to offer such a lawsuit.

It all made for interesting radio on KIRO Tuesday. State Attorney General Rob McKenna, Gov. Chris Gregoire and U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, were all on the Dave Ross show. McKenna made a repeat appearance on the Dori Monson show.

If you’ve got a few minutes, and if you’re here you clearly do, listen to the conversations. They’re available after the jump.

McKenna is clearly in the position that elements of the bill are unconstitutional, and he goes to some length to argue why. Gregoire and Inslee both say his interpretation is wrong, but spend more time talking about what impact it would have if McKenna’s case is ultimately upheld in the courts. If you’re a fan of the bill, that should worry you.

The U.S. Justice Department plans to defend the bill, so it isn’t as if no one thinks the bill passes muster. The problem comes, though, because the attorneys general could win. McKenna argues that they’re only going after particular elements of the bill, but Inslee and others argue that the elements they’re going after are pins that hold the whole thing up. Kill the mandate and you’ve essentially killed the bill.

The next question, then, is do Republicans really want to win this fight? If they do, will it give Democrats the opening to put forward something closer to a single-payer system? Dave Ross argues that if you turn this whole thing into a tax, rather than a forced entry into the market, you probably don’t get the same constitutional debate. At least those kind of cases have been argued and settled in the past.

AG Rob McKenna on the Dave Ross show. This link is to the entire second hour of Ross’ show. McKenna is on right at the beginning, the first 12 minutes. The governor’s specific clip is below, but it’s also the last 14 minutes of this clip.

More audio at

Gov. Chris Gregoire on the Dave Ross show. The first half is all about the AG’s lawsuit.

More audio at

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, is on this clip, beginning at the 6:55 mark and going on about 12 minutes.

More audio at

McKenna was on KIRO again later on the Dori Monson show, giving McKenna a chance to respond to the governor’s comments.

More audio at

2 thoughts on “Health Care War Continues in Washington

  1. Well I think that it’s awesome to hear that McKenna has somewhat of a spine… We all know Gregoire and Inslee are utterly devoid of one… (unless it scores them some cash)

    It’ll be another notch in the wall of Washington’s decent into mediocrity when the sycophants running this place stop this suit, and the states that aren’t bought and sold continue their rise to a far better place in the world than this progressive nightmare that used to stand for something…

  2. Not surprised the many supporters of getting Health Care passed are happy and tired of conservatives raining on their day in the sun. Plus many people believe this will help all of us and even decrease the deficit. If nothing else , any person can understand the achievement by how much opposition politically and by special interests it had to go up against.

    Having asked everyone I know , I have yet to find a person able to name one private business that the Federal Government has mandated us to purchase from besides PRIVATE health care insurance companies . Social Security , Medicare , are Federal programs that we are taxed to support . Fema mandates for flood insurance are only required when a person has a mortgage that is Federally insured. All the example of Federal Mandates I find are made only if the individual is getting something back from the Federal Government which provides a link for the person and the government.

    I also ask my friends who are interested in a real exchange to try and take the issue of Health Care out of it . Consider maybe the Feds telling us we had to purchase a gun , or worse yet a Bible . The gun to make sure we have safety , the Bible to promote civility and concern for your fellowman . You know the outrage we would see on those views, but the Constitution is not to protect us from federal Governments good or bad ideas. The Constitution protects us from the whims of the majority, minority , the good ideas or bad ones . Its a Constitution based on principle. Not on if a bill is good if passed or bad if passed. The States , especially the smaller ones joined our Union concerned about the Federal Government having authority to trump the law of the land in their home state . We are a nation of immigrints who came here to get away from government mandates. Yes the constitution has changed from its original intent , but I am at a lost of the slandering I have heard from the left upon the principles of Rob McKenna . Its not too hard to see where he is coming from , and frankly the slander reminds me much of the folks who interrupted town hall meetings this past year at the expense of the rest of us trying to figure out what was going on. The Bill that was passed has still not been explained properly , but with the same people attacking our ability to make sure the bill is Constitutional the ones explaining the need for this specific bill causes an increased creditability gap among the liberal voices of reason.
    Are people so afraid of the courts getting in the way of healthcare ? Perhaps Tort reform was needed after all ?

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