Friday, April 2, 2010

Kansas Attorney General will NOT file suit over Health Care Reform

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six stated today that he won't join colleagues in other states in challenging the new federal health care law because he believes their lawsuit has little chance of success.

Attorney General Six's announcement drew immediate criticism from conservative opponents to Health Care Reform. The Republican controlled Legislature still could order Six to challenge the law, and a resolution requiring a challenge has been introduced in the House. Also, Six's decision is likely to be an issue as he runs for election this year.

But Six said the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government broad powers to regulate interstate commerce. He also dismissed arguments that the law is unconstitutional because of its changes in Medicaid. Finally, he said, there's no need for Kansas to challenge the law because other states already are.

"Our review did not reveal any constitutional defects, and thus it would not be legally or fiscally responsible to pursue this litigation," Six said in a statement. "I will continue to make decisions based on the law, not in response to political pressure."

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican who'd urged Six to get involved, called his decision "extremely disappointing."

However, a spokesman for Governor Parkinson stated, "Governor Parkinson supports Attorney General Six's analysis and appreciates that he made this decision based on a sound legal analysis and not the politics of the moment."

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