Politico Says Dem AGs Boxed in By HCR, Omits OR-AG Backing Bill

Healthcare reform is terrible for Democratic Attorneys General around the country. Just ask Politico:

They played almost no role in crafting or passing the new federal health care legislation, but Democratic attorneys general have suddenly emerged as prominent actors in the post-passage drama over the constitutionality of the landmark law.

Until recently, the Democratic attorneys general have largely sat on the sidelines as more than a dozen of their GOP counterparts banded together to pursue a lawsuit against the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s domestic policy agenda. Like many in their party, they dismissed the suit as a naked political play without any legal grounding — an opinion based on the fact that many of the Republicans advancing the cause are seeking higher office.

But now, some of the Democratic AGs have become reluctant combatants, dragged into the fray by GOP governors and legislators who insist that their reluctance to join the case is a clear attempt to protect their national party’s interests.

Politico goes on to list, at great length, all of the Democratic AGs around the country who are supposedly politically hindered by the recent health legislation -- including, apparently, Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal, who (and you won't read this in the Politico article) leads all of his Republican opponents in the upcoming Senate election by margins in excess of 30 percentage points. Let's just say I'd be a little more credulous of this argument if Blumenthal's lead were in the single-digits, or even under 20 percentage points.

But Politico is off-base in yet another way: Completely overlooking the contrary evidence in the form of Oregon's Democratic Attorney General John Kroger, who, along with the state's Democratic Governor (a former state Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General himself), has been standing up in defense of the constitutionality of healthcare reform legislation.

Count Oregon on the side of states defending the new national health care reform plan.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General John Kroger said Wednesday that Oregon would take legal action to defend the constitutionality of the plan. Oregon hopes to join the litigation to argue that the new legislation does not violate the U.S. Constitution.


“The health care reform cases present some of the most important Constitutional issues facing this generation,” Attorney General Kroger said.

“Opponents of the bill seek to turn back the Constitutional clock 100 years, returning to a time when the U.S. Supreme Court routinely struck down legislation designed to protect the health, safety and well-being of the American people,” said Kroger.

Not only is Kroger, with the strong backing of Kulongoski, taking legal steps in favor of healthcare reform -- he is also inviting other Attorneys General from around the country to join him in such an effort. Might be worth mentioning in an article about how the politics of healthcare reform impact Democratic AGs. Then again, maybe not...

Tags: Attorneys General, Oregon, John Kroger, Ted Kulongoski, healthcare reform, Politico (all tags)



Iowa AG Tom Miller

attended President Obama's event celebrating the passage of health insurance reform in Iowa City last week. Miller has also said that "states would have 'a very weak case' in challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care reform and that Iowa would not be joining any legal action to block implementation." Miller was an early Obama supporter in Iowa, incidentally.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-01 11:33AM | 0 recs
RE: Iowa AG Tom Miller

Clearly irrelevant to an article about how the politics of healthcare reform impacts Democratic AGs...

by Jonathan Singer 2010-04-01 11:38AM | 0 recs
West Virginia

AD Darrell McGraw has been facing a ton of scrutiny for not wanting to file a lawsuit challenging the ruling (or at least ganging up with the others wanting to "sue" the government). I think they literally had to close down the phone lines to his office at one point.


The bill will presumably help to insure 250,000+ uninsured West Virginians (my home state btw) but the people of the state, contrary to our congressional representation, are very conservative at times.  This being one of those times.  

by Chuckie Corra 2010-04-01 02:55PM | 0 recs


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