Alaska considers joining suit against health care reform

REVIEW: Parnell calls it unconstitutional; AG to review law, report.

March 22, 2010 

JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell calls newly passed federal health care legislation unconstitutional and "public policy at its worst." His attorney general is reviewing the measure to determine if the state may join others in suing over the issue, though a Department of Law spokesman cautioned against a rush to judgment.

No timeline was given Monday for Dan Sullivan's completion of the review. Department of Law spokesman Bill McAllister said the office comes to the process with no preconceived ideas about what it might find or what it might ultimately recommend to Parnell.

McAllister said the Law Department plans to study concerns raised by other states, with legal analyses by groups in support of or opposition to the health care legislation.

Parnell said Sunday he was concerned about how the bill will affect state residents.

"For the many Alaskans currently unable to afford insurance, this legislation will do nothing but require that they purchase health insurance," he said. "This bill will increase insurance premiums and do very little to ensure that patients have access to needed health care professionals."

Parnell said the bill that Congress passed Sunday forces people into a health care plan they don't want, and the country can't afford. He called it unconstitutional. A Parnell spokeswoman said it was Parnell's "personal opinion."

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