KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Governors, State Attorneys General Seek To Counter Lawsuit Against Health Law

"Gov. Chris Gregoire is joining three fellow Democratic governors in asking a federal judge to consider their opposition to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the nation's new health-care law," The Seattle Times reports. "The lawsuit filed in March by 13 state attorneys-general challenges the new law's requirements that everyone purchase health insurance and that states expand Medicaid coverage for the poor. The decision of Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna to join the lawsuit infuriated Gregoire and other Democratic leaders, who argued Republican McKenna's position doesn't represent the state's interests." Democratic governors Bill Ritter of Colorado, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania joined Gregoire in her request to "file the brief in support of the Obama administration's motion to dismiss the lawsuit" (Brunner, 6/23).

The Hill: "State attorneys general in Iowa, Vermont and Oregon on Wednesday," also sought permission to file amicus briefs. But a few weeks ago, "a Florida-based federal judge said that no amicus briefs will be considered in the case - either for or against the suit. ... But states were not mentioned specifically in Vinson's ruling, leaving Iowa's Tom Miller, Vermont's William Sorrell and Oregon's John Kroger to sense an exception. '[S]tates (like the federal government) are typically given broad latitude for purposes of amicus filings,' they wrote" (Lillis, 6/23).

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