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Women Sue Washington State AG Over His Opposition to Healthcare Law

Dozens of women filed a lawsuit last week against Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna, alleging that his participation in legal action seeking to overturn the new federal healthcare law threatens access to comprehensive coverage for women
May 8, 2012

Dozens of women filed a lawsuit last week against Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna, alleging that his participation in legal action seeking to overturn the new federal healthcare law threatens access to comprehensive coverage for women. The politically charged lawsuit is seeking a ruling that McKenna violated his ethical duties by asking the Supreme Court to invalidate protections for women’s healthcare. It claims that his actions go against the wishes of his clients, the residents of Washington state. So far, 90 women have signed on as plaintiffs. McKenna is running for governor.

Melissa Mackey, 38, a plaintiff, said she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer nine months after being laid off from her job. The Seattle woman said if she hadn’t been able to keep her insurance from her previous employer, if she didn’t have preventative care and if she had been affected by a cap on her insurance benefits, she may not have lived to speak at the news conference announcing the lawsuit. “I didn’t get cancer for political reasons,” said Mackey, who is still receiving treatment. “I just haven’t done 20 months of treatment for a governor’s race. I want to be treated fairly, and I want to be taken care of and that’s what I deserve. I don’t care who’s governor.”

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued a statement commenting on the lawsuit. “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. 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.” Kreidler added that if the court challenge unravels the entire healthcare reform law “it will be a travesty.”

See the full article on the Washington state women suing for healthcare: Women Suing AG Over Federal Healthcare Law (Seattle Times 5/3/12)

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