I sure hope Rob McKenna plans to run on repeal too

So far, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna has attempted to have it both ways. On the one hand he insists that he supports the notion of health care reform. On the other hand, he insists on joining a lawsuit seeking to rule unconstitutional a provision without which the entire reform effort would collapse.

Let’s be clear, without the insurance mandate, the main provisions of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the elimination of exclusions for preexisting conditions, and the common practice of “rescission” once policyholders get sick — would be entirely unworkable.

Why? Well, if there is no mandate that you purchase insurance, yet insurance companies couldn’t reject you due to preexisting conditions, then it would be in your economic self-interest to only purchase insurance once you got sick. And with only sick people paying premiums, the premiums would be unaffordable.

So without the requirement that you or your employer purchase private insurance, there can be only two alternatives. Either rescission and pre-existing conditions remain a prominent feature of our health insurance system, or we move to a single payer system in which government is the sole insurer, and there is no private insurance to be mandated.

Considering his recent public embrace of the Teabaggers, it’s hard to imagine McKenna endorsing the latter, so I can only assume his supposedly principled opposition to the recently passed bill implies support for the former. By filing this lawsuit, Rob McKenna is inherently defending the rights of insurance companies to deny you coverage, either by excluding pre-existing conditions, or by searching for technicalities with which to justify cancelation of your policy once you get sick.

And… well… as a Democrat, I sure hope he runs on that in 2012.

Comments

  1. 2

    soon-to-be former Times' subscriber spews:

    You nailed it, Goldy — “Either excision and pre-existing conditions remain a prominent feature of our health insurance system, or we move to a single payer system in which government is the sole insurer, and there is no private insurance…” EXACTLY why I hope McKenna and his clique prevail!

    Get the Individual Mandate removed and compell Congress to pass single payer!

    By the time the Court acts, it will be too late to turn back, too late to put Health Care back under control of the insurance companies — to late to again make excision and pre-existing conditions the law of the land.

    Teabaggers notwithstanding, it just won’t happen.

  2. 4

    uptown spews:

    OK, somebody explain this to me…

    If the mandate hasn’t kicked in yet, how can you sue? Who exactly is being hurt and therefore has legal standing to sue on this issue? Didn’t the Supreme Court rule that the WA state Dems & GOP didn’t have standing to sue on the Top 2 Primary system because it hadn’t happened yet (or something like that) ??

  3. 5

    GBS spews:

    @ 4:

    You got it. In order for a suit to actually be heard inside a courtroom the case must have legal standing – an injured party.

    when I press Conservatives on this who are all for this their rhetoric falls apart.

    Too Damn Funny.

  4. 6

    ArtFart spews:

    Well, there’s sorta-kinda another way…

    Forget the mandate, yet require the insurers somehow to pay for treatment of the dumbfucks who think they’re indestructible and then discover otherwise, and create a fund to cover the insurers’ losses…rather like “uninsured motorists” insurance pays for your injuries and damages if you’re driving and some other dork with no insurance manages to nail you, and then disappears. At the same time, put strictures on the insurance companies to enjoin them from siphoning off excessive profits. They’d essentially become distribution agents in a stumble toward the single-payer system.

    Is this what McKenna and the GOP want to see happen? Well, in a word, no.

  5. 7

    Richard Pope spews:

    Daniel K @ 3

    Do you think any of the panelists on the TVW discussion will actually argue that the law is unconstitutional?

  6. 8

    ArtFart spews:

    @2 Yeah, right. Keep thinking that, and then watch McKenna and his pals get their “limited” lawsuit in front of the Supremes. Then watch how fast Roberts/Alito/Thomas/Scalia/Kennedy overturn the entire package.

  7. 9

    spews:

    Is this not what the Republicans have been clamoring for all the time. You know… everyone paying their own way. Sending health care money to the private sector?

    Yeah.. forget that. This stunt by McKenna has nothing to do with reason and everything to do with politics.

  8. 11

    spews:

    the Popester asks @7:

    Daniel K @ 3

    Do you think any of the panelists on the TVW discussion will actually argue that the law is unconstitutional?

    Well, since three of the four are — in sharp contrast to our estimable AG — constitutional scholars, it doesn’t seem likely.

    Has any constitutional scholar said anything that could be construed as supporting the McKenna/Tea Party lawsuit? Maybe I should limit that to graduates from any law school not named Regent.

  9. 14

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    GBS, you are better than this. Normally you are smarter than the average libtardo. Today you dropped to their level.

    Cornhusker kickbacks and Louisiana purchases… $300 million in federal subsidies for Medicaid to Louisiana. For Nebraska, the cost, estimated at $100 million through 2016. Are they legal because 31 other states didn’t get them? Can you give something to certain citizens while taxing others on the same thing?

    Tax-exempt insurers would have to pay a new fee levied on insurers on only half their premiums. Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger are both tax-exempt. What about other health plans?

    How come union based Cadillac plans are only taxed starting in 2018 while other plans are taxed now?

    Pelosi gave 17 states additional Medicare money. Is that right for the other 31 states who didn’t get it?

  10. 15

    Chris Stefan spews:

    @14
    I don’t see how any of that has a damn thing to do with if states have standing to sue over the mandates.

    Furthermore you present no evidence that any of the things you outline are actually unconstitutional.

  11. 16

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    Chris,

    First, all the taxes and requirements start now while the benefits come in 2014.

    Second, due to the Cornhusker kickback, all other states are at a disadvantage because they are exempt until 2016. You start paying higher taxes now.

    The Senate created a law the health care bill, to single-out a specific state Nebraska, certain individuals; Nebraskans, and gave Nebraskans special privileges and created specific penalties against the rest of us (non-Nebraskans), is unconstitutional.

    Third, Louisiana got 300 Million for Medicare. Did WA State?

  12. 17

    Mathew "RennDawg" Renner spews:

    He is running on protecting liberty. Forcing people to buy health insurance when they do not want to is tyranny.

  13. 18

    Daddy Love spews:

    @4 uptown

    Yup. This suit will take a decadea at least, so it will wrap up about eight years after Rob McKenna leaves the last statewide post he will ever hold in WA state.

  14. 19

    Daddy Love spews:

    16 Pud

    The NE and LA exemptions were removed in the reconciliation bill. Really, it seems that you haven’t been paying attention at all.

    And if you look at the numbers, very little of the revenue that is being raised gets raised in 2011-2014.

  15. 20

    Daddy Love spews:

    17 MR

    Bullshit. No one is being “forced” to do anything. If you think a small fine that they won’t even bother to collect from you is “force,” what kind of weenie are you?

    If you want to be a real Constitutional Rebel (TM), you can just suck it up, grow a pair, and not pay that fine! And the government will do…nothing.

  16. 21

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    Your right Daddy Love on Nebraska.

    Sec. 1201. Federal funding for States. Strikes the provision for a permanent 100% federal matching rate for Nebraska for the Medicaid costs of newly eligible individuals. Provides federal Medicaid matching payments for the costs of services to newly eligible individuals at the following rates in all states except expansion states: 100% in 2014, 2015, and 2016; 95% in 2017; 94% in 2018; 93% in 2019; and 90% thereafter. In the case of expansion states, reduces the state share of the costs of covering nonpregnant childless adults by 50% in 2014, 60% in 2015, 70% in 2016, 80% in 2017, 90% in 2018. In 2019 and thereafter, expansion states would bear the same state share of the costs of covering nonpregnant childless adults as non-expansion states (e.g., 7% in 2019, 10% thereafter)

    They took it away but the new funding formula for Medicaid puts all of us taxpayers on the hook for 90 percent of the cost of Medicare expansion for all states. And the special funding increases for 17 states and the District of Columbia is still in there along with the $300 million for Medicare to Louisiana

  17. 22

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    And if you look at the numbers, very little of the revenue that is being raised gets raised in 2011-2014.

    Wait a minute Daddy Love… Pelosi’s charge to the CBO was 2010 to 2014. Now you are saying 2011-2014.

    Sumtin ain’t right Willis!

  18. 23

    Puddybud is Sad my friend died spews:

    Daddy Love

    Is WA state one of the 17 states? If not why are those stupid commercials out there congratulating Patty Murray?

  19. 24

    spews:

    Forcing people to buy health insurance when they do not want to is tyranny.

    They’re forcing you to pay a payroll tax to re-distribute income and healthcare to Grandma and Grandpa now. Why aren’t you up in arms about that? When Dumbya tried to change that, the townhall screamers back then screamed at their Congress Critters “NO! Keep your grubby thieving hands off my Social Security!”. Bush of course carefully filtered out anyone who would scream at him. It would disturb him too much.

    So why can’t everybody just buy into Medicare now? It’d be way cheaper.. Scream about that.

  20. 25

    Mathew "RennDawg" Renner spews:

    I do support phasing our social security. It is an unconstitutional act. Medicare as well. I think everyone 40 and under should have there FICA cut in half every year but they will recieve no benefits. In ten years they would not have to pay any more.