March 25, 2010

Tell McKenna to DROP IT!


Petition delivery urging Rob McKenna to DROP IT!

At noon on FRIDAY, MARCH 26, union members and other supporters of health care reform are urged to gather at the Tivoli Fountain of the Capitol Campus in Olympia to participate in the delivery of more than 10,000 petition signatures urging Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna to end his participation in a lawsuit to undermine federal health care reform signed into law by President Obama.

We want to deliver a strong message to McKenna: "Not in Our Name and Not on Our Dime!" His partisan political grandstanding harms the millions of people in Washington state who will benefit from this new law.


From the WSLC website:

OLYMPIA (March 23, 2010) -- Decrying the lawsuit as a "partisan political showmanship on the taxpayers' dime," the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) has urged Republican State Attorney General Rob McKenna to withdraw his participation in a lawsuit to undermine the federal health care reform signed into law today by President Barack Obama. The WSLC is the largest labor organization in the state representing some 400,000 rank-and-file union members.

"By participating in this lawsuit, Rob McKenna is using our precious state tax dollars to advance a partisan political agenda," said WSLC President Rick Bender. "McKenna isn't speaking for the Governor and he isn't speaking for the more than 1.5 million Washingtonians who will be helped by this legislation. He is forcing Washington taxpayers to finance partisan efforts originating in Florida, Texas and South Carolina that aim to maintain the status quo and help the insurance industry that profits from it. And he is aligning his personal political fortunes with the radical fringe of teabagging extremists.

"His participation in this suit without consulting with the Governor and our elected state leaders is inappropriate and we call on him to withdraw his name -- and our state -- from this partisan political showmanship on the taxpayers' dime," Bender said.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has come out against the lawsuit (see the video clip) and called it a money-losing proposition for the state at a time when our budget is in crisis. She has said that McKenna's actions are risking our state's future.

Constitutional law experts across the country are predicting the lawsuit by McKenna and other attorneys general will fall flat and likely amount to no more than a speed bump for health care legislation. Most observers say it is a political exercise, not a legal one.

Support for President Obama's health care legislation has been growing as people find out the benefits of the bill. A USA Today/Gallup Poll reports that since the bill passed the House of Representatives there has been a 9% jump in Americans who have a favorable view of the health care overhaul. Only four in 10 of the people surveyed describe the bill in a negative way.

McKenna says he is fighting health care reform legislation on behalf of the people of Washington, claiming that it is unconstitutional to require people to get health insurance.

Because the health reform bans insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, that requirement, which takes effect in 2016, keeps people from buying insurance only after they are sick. McKenna's attempt to remove it undermines the foundation of reform and effectively maintains the status quo, where uninsured patients get uncompensated care from hospitals and those costs are socialized onto the rest of us. Studies by the consumer advocacy group Families USA show this hidden health tax increases our health care premiums an estimated 8%, or $1,017 for a family and $368 for an individual with coverage.

Many observers not that McKenna has aspirations to run for Governor in 2012 and this effort may be laying the groundwork for that campaign.

"If McKenna wants to run for Governor of this state by advocating the radical teabaggers agenda, I say 'good luck with that'," Bender said. "But do not force Washington taxpayers to finance that campaign with this partisan political lawsuit."

  • Contact Rob McKenna at (360) 753-6200 or via web-based email and tell him: "Don't fight health care reform! Not in MY name and not on MY dime!"


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