Hood: Pointless to join health care challenge

Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 24, 2011, 3:17pm


JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is among those Democratic attorneys general who say joining the multistate lawsuit against the federal health care law is pointless.

Hood, who is seeking his third term, is facing Republican Steve Simpson in the state's Nov. 8 election.

Simpson, who previously served as commissioner of the state's Department of Safety, has criticized the incumbent for not joining the lawsuit against President Barack Obama's health care reform.

But Hood says there was no need to waste taxpayer money on joining the lawsuit.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, Hood knew the case would end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Fourteen states, later joined by 12 others, filed a challenge to the law in March 2010. The 26 states contend that its individual mandate requiring that all Americans purchase health insurance or face a penalty is unconstitutional.

The states filed a petition last month to have their challenge heard immediately by the nation's high court.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is of the same thinking as Hood.

And like Hood, Conway is fighting to keep his position as the state's top lawyer. He faces Republican opponent Todd P'Pool in the state's election, also Nov. 8.

During a live debate last week, P'Pool reaffirmed his commitment to joining the lawsuit and attacked Conway for not joining the "most epic legal battle of our time."

The GOP candidate argued the reform, which passed last year, will change the way area hospitals and physicians do business, kill jobs in the private sector, hurt health care in the state and devastate Kentucky's budget.

Like Hood, Conway said he wouldn't take away "valuable resources" from the Attorney General's Office to fight the reform.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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