Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna disappointed by Supreme Court decision (with Washington state reaction)

  • Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:26pm
  • News

By The Associated Press

SEATTLE — State Attorney General Rob McKenna said today that he is disappointed by the Supreme Court decision upholding the federal health care mandate — but that Congress shouldn’t try and repeal it.

McKenna had challenged the law’s individual mandate as a violation of the Constitution, and he says he still has concerns about whether there are limits to how Congress could force people to take action by punishing them with taxes.

But now that the law is considered constitutional, McKenna said the individual mandate should stay for now.

McKenna said one of the Republican criticisms of the bill was that it crammed so many policies into one measure — some the GOP supports and some the party doesn’t.

“To completely blow it up means that we’re, in a sense, committing the same sin but in reverse,” McKenna said.

The Republican candidate for governor joined other GOP attorneys general in the lawsuit over the objections of Gov. Chris Gregoire.

He said the state will move ahead with implementing the law and the development of insurance exchanges.

Meanwhile, he wants lawmakers to focus on identifying changes to some aspect of the measure while keeping those that are popular.

The attorney general believes that the law exacerbates health care inflation while driving up demand for Medicaid, while driving down supply through changes in Medicaid reimbursement. He also says there are not enough incentives for all participants in the health care field, including patients, to keep costs down.

“We’ve got to move to a world where all of us are cost-conscious,” McKenna said.

McKenna did claim a small victory, saying he was glad the court did not allow the mandate under the commerce clause because that would have dramatically expanded the power of Congress to regulate what people can do.

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