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March 24, 2010
California AG probably won't join state suits against Obamacare
At least 14 states' attorneys general and/or governors have now filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new national health care provision which requires mandatory membership of everyone in the country.
States are also suing the federal government because the national health care law will not only add at least 15 million more low-income people to the Medicaid program, but will cost the states millions more to administer the new program and insureds.
Even though the state of California will be hit hardest of any of the 50 states by the mandates in the new law, California probably won't be joining in the legal actions being undertaken by the other states.
Take a wild guess why. California attorney general Jerry Brown is a Democrat, who is also running for California governor. In Brown's brain, all this lawsuit stuff has nothing do with the fact that states can't possibly afford national health care mandates, it's just Republicans being petty.
"We'll just have to see how it goes, but I do think that the politics of this have really been horrible," Brown said during a visit to KCRA 3. "This is a big issue. It's complicated. The bill is obviously not perfect. But I would like to see both parties trying to fix it. And let the Republicans say, 'OK, we have some other ideas here.' Basically, it just obstructionism, and it's dividing our country when we really need at this point in our history to pull together and forge a common purpose."
California Republicans in the state legislature are demanding Brown join the other states in the legal action against the national health care bill, so that California's financial interests can be protected.
"Many Californians share the view of this panel-- that this is a great expansion of government in general and the greatest intrusion into personal liberties and states rights we have seen in many decades," said Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta (Riverside County), said in kicking off a press conference where the term "Obamacare" was almost exclusively used to describe the bill."
California lawmakers may join with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association to bring a state constitutional amendment to voters this fall to attempt to block federal health care mandates.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown will only promise to "review" the matter. In an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Brown admitted that he hasn't read the national health care bill, but he "knows" that the lawsuits being filed by the other states "probably" have no chance of success.
Brown's "head-in-the-sand" approach to California's deep fiscal problems and his refusal to defend the taxpayers in his state because he'd rather be a loyal Democrat foot soldier are especially galling since people who run the current "Medi-Cal" program say it can't fund the patients it has now, so there is no money to expand it:
"For California, with a $20 billion budget deficit, the extra load will cost at least an additional $2 billion to $3 billion annually, said Toby Douglas, chief deputy director for California's Medicaid (Medi-Cal) health care programs. He said the overhaul is currently projected to add 1.6 million people to the 7 million enrolled in his state's program.
The Republican Governor's Association has started a new website about California Attorney General-wannabe-governor-again Jerry Brown, called "What's Jerry Brown Done to You? which features a new video outlining the new taxes and increases instituted by Brown when he was California governor the last time around, in the 1970s.
We might want to add another section to that website called, "What Has Jerry Brown Done for You, California?"
California! Jerry Brown, your attorney general who asks to be your governor again, is refusing to advocate for the taxpayers of his own state because he feels it's more important to toe the Obama party line. Remember in November.
Jane Jamison is publisher of the conservative news/commentary blog, UNCOVERAGE.net.