Ala. AG, 12 others challenge healthcare bill's legality

Attorney General Troy King
Attorney General Troy King

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A growing number of state attorneys general are threatening to derail the recently passed healthcare reform bill on legal grounds because of a key provision of its passing.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King held a news conference Thursday where he distributed copies of a letter from 13 Attorneys General who are challenging the constitutionality of what's being dubbed "the Cornhusker Kickback."

The bill, passed by the Senate on December 24, was saved when Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson agreed to back the bill. His decision gave Democrats the 60 votes needed to kill any filibuster.

It was later learned that Nelson agreed to support of the bill after Senate leaders offered his state a provision that grants it a permanent federal exemption from Medicaide expansion costs under the legislation. Other states will have to pay a portion of those same costs.

"Alabamians should not be forced to subsidize another state's Medicaide program," King said, "particularly when our own Medicaide program is on financial life-support." King and other AGs say they're not getting involved because they're for or against the healthcare plan. They "did it because we are unequivocally FOR the United States Constitution and believe it must be respected at all times and defended when necessary."

Other state attorneys general backing the challenge include those from Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Each is a republican.

WSFA 12 News will have more information on this story as the news conference concludes.