Posted by: shannynmoore | April 20, 2010

UPDATE: Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and AG Dan Sullivan announce plans to sue FEDS over healthcare

Today, Governor Sean Parnell and Attorney General Dan Sullivan are announcing their plans to sue the federal government over healthcare reform.  

Alaska’s capital budget is over $3 billion.  The operating budget is over $8 billion.  The combined budgets are an astounding $11 billion.  Despite that, we apparently have money to WASTE on Governor Parnell’s election year stunt!

I wonder if they checked with former convicted felon and Senator Ted Stevens.  Stevens co-sponsored republican legislation in 1993 that MANDATED HEALTH INSURANCE.

In November, 1993, Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., introduced what was considered to be one of the main Republican health overhaul proposals: “A bill to provide comprehensive reform of the health care system of the United States.”

Titled the “Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993,” it had 21 co-sponsors, including Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.  The bill, which was not debated or voted upon, was an alternative to President Bill Clinton’s plan.  It bears similarity to the Democratic bill passed by the Senate Dec. 24, 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Here is a summary of the 1993 bill:   

Title I: Basic Reforms to Expand Access to Health Insurance Coverage and to Ensure Universal Coverage – Subtitle A: Universal Access – Provides access to health insurance coverage under a qualified health plan for every citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States.

(Sec. 1003) Establishes a program under which persons with low incomes (and who are not eligible for Medicaid) will receive vouchers to buy insurance through purchasing groups.

(Sec. 1004) Requires each employer to make available, either directly, through a purchasing group, or otherwise, enrollment in a qualified health plan to each eligible employee.

Subtitle B: Qualified General Access Plan in the Small Employer and Individual Marketplace- Requires the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to develop specific standards to implement requirements concerning: (1) guaranteed eligibility, availability, and renewability of health insurance coverage; (2) nondiscrimination based on health status; (3) benefits offered; (4) insurer financial solvency; (5) enrollment process; (6) premium rating limitations; (7) risk adjustment; and (8) consumer protection.

(Sec. 1119) Requires each qualified general access plan to: (1) establish and maintain a quality assurance program and a mediation procedures program; and (2) contain assurances of service to designated underserved areas.

(Sec. 1141) Provides for the formation of purchasing groups by individuals and small employers.

(Sec. 1161) Requires brokers or insurers to provide specified information to prospective enrollees.

(Sec. 1162) Prohibits insurers from creating improper financial incentives and from selling duplicate coverage.

Recently, Senator Wyden of Oregon stated that lawsuits by the states over the issue of individual mandates are moot for one simple reason:

There was an amendment to the bill called the “empowering the states to be innovative” amendment that gives states the right, literally, to set up their own health care system-with or without an individual mandate.

Questions must be asked:

Mr. Sullivan, doesn’t that make your lawsuit moot and a waste of taxpayer dollars?

Mr. Parnell—were you even aware of the “empowering the states to be innovative” section in the health care bill before you authorized this suit?

How else to explain this pointless lawsuit?  Many other states are NOT suing the FEDS because it is a waste of valuable time and resources.   Kansas decided NOT to sue a couple of weeks ago.  Here is a great piece from Think Progress:

Kansas Attorney General Refuses To Sue Federal Government Over Health Care Reform

Yesterday, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six announced that his office would not be joining other states’ attorneys general in suing the federal government on the allegation that the new health care law is unconstitutional. From his statement:

The attorney general’s office has completed its legal review of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Based on that extensive analysis, I do not believe that Kansas can successfully challenge the law. Our review did not reveal any constitutional defects, and thus it would not be legally or fiscally responsible to pursue this litigation. […]

Legal precedent demonstrates that throughout our nation’s history, the U.S. Supreme Court has been reluctant to overturn legislative acts unless a clear and direct constitutional violation is shown. Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution expressly gives Congress the power to legislate on matters affecting interstate commerce. The Supremacy Clause makes these laws supreme, regardless of any state laws or state constitutional provisions to the contrary. No serious argument may be advanced that the healthcare industry and all those who participate in it — including doctors, nurses, patients and insurers — are not part of interstate commerce. […]

I do not believe it is in the best interest of Kansas to divert resources from these vital legal matters to pursue a lawsuit driven by political differences and policy debates, a lawsuit that I believe has little to no chance of success and will squander scarce resources in a time of severe budget shortfalls.

Six has been under tremendous pressure by conservatives in his state to join in the right-wing lawsuit over health care reform. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), who sent a letter to Six urging him to sue last week, called yesterday’s announcement “extremely disappointing.” More on the opposition that Six faces within his state:

[Republican state Rep. Aaron] Jack and 21 other Republicans in the Kansas House are sponsoring the resolution requiring Six to file a legal challenge. A 1975 state law allows one chamber to direct the attorney general to challenge the constitutionality of a state or federal statute. […]

Some GOP legislators want to amend the state constitution to prohibit Kansas from requiring individuals or businesses to buy health insurance. It’s designed to block implementation of the federal law in Kansas and put the state in a better legal position for a challenge.

Six, however, joins an increasingly vocal block of state-level public officials who are calling out the political stunts conducted by the attorneys general suing the federal government. Attorneys general from Kentucky, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Iowa, and Arizona have all refused to join the suit, saying it would be a frivolous waste of scarce taxpayer dollars. Additionally, in Oregon, both Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D) and Attorney General John Kroger (D) have have promised to “take legal action to defend the constitutionality” of the law.


Responses

  1. Parnell and Sullivan………Bevis and Butthead!

  2. I’m not very good with telephone calls, but I sent a scathing e-mail. Can I still be your friend? 🙂

  3. W.T.F.!!! Didn’t the Legislature just end? Was this announcement timed like this on purpose? Is this the same Sean Parnell who worked for Patton-Boggs while they were representing Exxon and the Exxon Valdez?

  4. I sent an e-mail also to the Governor saying he should rethink this, that the Health Care problem was nationwide…not all people are covered under Indian Health, medicaid, employers, etc.
    Thanks for letting me obsess, I wrote endless letters to Senator Murkowski trying to get her to vote. I agree it didn’t go far enough, but hope it will bring plans affordable for my grandkids, etc. to be covered properly.

  5. So Captain Zero is trying to command respect by rejecting this mandation? And AG Sullivan hopes this will help him carry the Light Gov. into Gubernatorial victory?

    This is as lame-ass a gesture as to when Sarah rejected that token fraction of stimulus funding. Yeah, tough old earthquake prone Alaska with sub/Arctic conditions don’t need structurally sound buildings to be a less energy thirsty market.

  6. AP means Anchor Point. Didn’t think when I used AP it might mean something else.

  7. I guess all that money he’s going to get this summer with the cruise ship head tax will make up for it…
    umm… oh wait, I guess that won’t work.

    Less money in, more money out – I guess if you hate government, destroying it from the inside-out seems “right”.

    Then he can run on fixing the government he screwed up!

    I think this Parnell-Samuels-Walker three-way thing is all smoke n mirrors. They are all coordinating (via polling) who falls on which sword so the REAL shill can win the election.

  8. So now Alaska looks even stupider than Kansas? That’s really, REALLY bad.

  9. Wow. I live in Kansas, and this is great news. I read it first here! Thanks.

    I never would have believed our Atty.Gen. would stand up against the powerful Rethugs from rural KS. I will have to send a thank you.

    I am sorry about your Atty.Gen and Gov. I cannot believe they are so willing to waste your money.

  10. I believe the (repukelican) State AG of Washington has joined the lawsuits – and our (Democratic) Governor is suing HIM to stop the suit…

  11. I never trusted anyone who was “sue-happy.” Now, I know why; it is character revealing.

  12. I see Parnell and Sullivan down there in Juneau huffin a fattie an gigglin a 4/20 giggle. Alas they were just born that way. Sigh.

  13. So, let me get this straight…. Dan Sullivan, the lucky recipient of a completely criminal $193,000 insurance policy payout, who just destroyed the marriage of his well-paid party planner (and mistress), sees this as his escape hatch? Me thinks Dan should be tried for grand larceny and gross misconduct in an elected position….

    • Sorry…different Dan Sullivan. Yep, we have two. One’s a bad mayor, one is a bad attorney general.

      • “Yep, we have two. One’s a bad mayor, one is a bad attorney general.”

        Hahahahaahaha! (Laughing through the tears.)

  14. What a waste of Alaska’s money! Next. let’s go after those pesky polar bears – oh, that’s right, we already did.

  15. Governor (or Governor’s handlers),
    WHEN you loose the election in November, and wonder what happened, remember “4/20”. This is the day you announced that you were launching a frivolous, partisan lawsuit to undue something as significant as health care to thousands of Alaskans. You still have a few days to undue this damage, but as your republican collegues are fond of saying, ‘this will be your Waterloo’.

  16. Shannon is right, these people need to hear from Alaskans who don’t cater to the Pretend Governor’s attempts to block health care reform.

    I’d like to join her call for all of you to get involved and send a message of your objection to this attempt to block health care reform.

    Here’s Governor Pretend Parnell’s address, etc.

    Juneau Office
    Alaska State Capitol Building
    Third Floor

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 110001
    Juneau, AK 99811-0001

    Telephone Inquiries:
    Phone (907) 465-3500
    Fax (907) 465-3532

    Email, and calling might not be real effective, it’s so easy to dismiss emails and/or allow aides to take your call with no real expectation that the intended recipient will ever hear about your views.

    Writing a snail mail letter is the best way to voice your concerns. Get your concerns sent to them on paper, and copy that letter to a few state representatives too, along with sending a copy to the pretend governor’s Washington DC office.

    Paper documentation of this nature is very much harder to ignore, especially when you request a formal written reply acknowledging receipt of your letter and request a written response to your concerns.

    Be respectful and polite, but do be direct. Tell the governor that you expect to be taken seriously, and that you want your interests served and your concerns responsibly addressed in a written response.

    Here is Governor Pretend Parnell’s DC office info.

    Washington DC Office
    444 North Capitol NW, Suite 336
    Washington, DC 20001-1512

    Phone (202) 624-5858
    Fax (202) 624-5857

    Information about who your local representative is and their addresses can be found here, at your local legislative information offices:

    http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/mi

    You can send a ‘public opinion message’ or POM to all representatives here:

    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/p

    You can email too, and by all means, do that also if you so desire, but please, even if you call, send a POM, or email, indicate in that email or call that you will be following up that communication with a letter which includes a request for a written response.

    A few cents spent on paper, envelope and stamp will create the need for them to react, it will demonstrate to them that there are consequences to their actions, and will have to devote time, energy and resources in order to respond to your concerns and requests.

    Let’s not make this easy on them by being apathetic, let’s let them know they aren’t representing our interests, and we intend to hold them accountable.

    That’s what being a citizen is all about. Make yourself proud to be a citizen.

    I’ll thank each of you who take action right now, I’ll be appreciative of any fellow citizen who acts to hold their government representatives accountable.

    Doing nothing sends the wrong message. Take a few minutes, and follow through. Thanks again.

  17. Anyone care to add your vote to Creepies4Palin as The Worst Blog of All Time this year? Here is the write up and the link to go vote at the Bloggers Choice awards, which of course has Mudflats as best political blog on the first page and doing quite well.

    Just a few more votes will put it on the front page of The Worst Bloggers : )

    http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/92547

    “Misrepresentative agit-prop website that makes a cynical business out of spewing Palin’s twisted view of the American political landscape out into the blogoverse, under the guise of “valid journalism and news”. Routinely fleeces Palin’s followers for donations to her corrupt SarahPAC and Alaska Fund Trust grifting organizations in order to help the multi-millionairess pay her legal bills and overpaid lawyers. The writing is of such a formulaic and yet twisted style characteristic of amateurish propaganda that it can have the single redeeming quality of being easily mocked by those who are not horribly shocked. The commenting community also provides continuous unintended hilarity in their serious worship of Palin as an idol and a shrine. Certainly this website encapsulates all of the worst of one of the most bizarre chapters ever to occur in American political life.

    Also known as: Creeps4Palin, the CofP, the SeaOfPee, the OceanOfUrine, Crazies4Palin, The Pee Zoo, etc. Its denizens are known as Pee’ers, and Urine Swimmers.”

  18. oh thank God, kentucky’s finally done something good…

    sorry. that’s really all i have to contribute…

    besides that sean parnell is a moron.

  19. @John Doe – too funny, “Governor Pretend Parnell” is right!


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