Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire burnished the differences she has with Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna over health reform this week. She filed a legal brief in the pending litigation in a Florida federal court saying that McKenna does not represent the executive branch of government in Washington or leaders that want the Affordable Care Act to stand.
McKenna joined attorneys general from many other states that are challenging the law in courts around the country. His agency has this web page with links to many case documents, but not Gregoire's latest filings.
Gregoire's brief was filed Monday. It says that enjoining the national Democrats’ health reforms in 2010 would disrupt health programs in this state, which has won a Medicaid waiver that allows federal funds to be used for programs that formerly were state-only funded.
She said it also would eliminate benefits for many senior. She noted that 897,000 senior receiving Medicare already are spared co-pays for preventive care or annual checkups and that 54,000 whose prescription drug costs fall into the so-called "donut hole" for Medicare coverage have received $250 in help.
The governor also wrote that the reform has provided Washington with federal grants of nearly $83 million that fund 150 projects to promote cost-saving therapies and aid others through such programs such as home visits for tribal, infant and early childhood care.
McKenna has contended it is unconstitutional to require residents to purchase private health care plans, and he warns that Medicaid costs for states could explode when oversized federal subsidies shrink in a few years.