Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Thursday issued the following statement about the filing of a private lawsuit against Attorney General Rob McKenna over McKenna’s efforts to overturn federal health care reform:
“As this new lawsuit points out, Attorney General McKenna wants to have it both ways. Shortly after federal health reform passed, McKenna rushed to join fellow conservatives in challenging the law. Two years later, he seems to be trying hard to distance himself from the potential consequences of the case he signed his name to. Simply put, health care for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians hangs in the balance.
“Mr. McKenna knows that many provisions of the law – such as letting parents keep adult children on their health coverage until age 26, expanding women's coverage, and barring insurers from denying coverage to sick children – are popular. He maintains that the challenge to the individual mandate will not overturn the entire law.
“The problem is that the case he joined seeks to do exactly that: throw out the entire law.
“About 700,000 Washingtonians stand to get free or subsidized health coverage through the health care reform law, starting in 2014. If the court challenge succeeds, those people will lose hope of coverage anytime soon.
"We cannot afford to play politics with people’s lives. History shows that as a nation, we summon the will to try to address health care reform only about once a generation. Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Washington families need meaningful, affordable coverage now. If the court challenge by Mr. McKenna and his conservative colleagues unravels the entire health care reform law, it will be a travesty. Washington's families cannot wait another 20 years.”