HENDERSON, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Todd P'Pool, the Republican candidate for Kentucky attorney general, said Thursday if elected he will fight President Barack Obama's federal health care reform.
P'Pool, a Hopkins County attorney, told The Gleaner in Henderson that he would make sure the state joins the multistate lawsuit against the health care law.
The GOP candidate says the law, 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.
"And it's unconstitutional, so it's probably the worst piece of legislation that I've seen in my lifetime," P'Pool told The Gleaner.
Fourteen states were later joined by 12 others after they filed a challenge to Obama's health care law in March 2010.
The 26 states contend that the health care law's individual mandate requiring that all Americans purchase health insurance or face a penalty is unconstitutional.
In January, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson sided with the states, ruling that the individual mandate violates the U.S. Constitution and issued an order striking down the federal health care law.
Vinson said he voided the entire legislation in the multistate lawsuit because the mandate is too integral a part to be separated. He called it "a difficult decision to reach."
"If Congress intends to implement health care reform -- and there would appear to be widespread agreement across the political spectrum that reform is needed -- it should do a comprehensive examination of the Act and make a legislative determination as to which of its hundreds of provisions and sections will work as intended without the individual mandate, and which will not," he wrote.
"It is Congress that should consider and decide these quintessentially legislative questions, and not the courts."
P'Pool will face incumbent Jack Conway, a Democrat, in November. Both P'Pool and Conway ran unopposed in their primaries in May.
The race is said to be one of the most-watched this fall. The GOP is looking to take over the Attorney General's Office for the first time in years.
P'Pool, who was born in Madisonville, Ky., earned a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Kentucky College of Business and Economics and graduated from the university's law school.
He was first elected as Hopkins County Attorney in 2006 and again in 2010.
He and his wife, Shannon, have three daughters and reside in Madisonville.
Conway, who announced in January he was seeking reelection, previously ran for Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat, which was held by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning. Bunning retired the seat.
Republican Rand Paul defeated Conway in November, but the race for Bunning's seat was a bitter one.
Paul, the son of famously libertarian U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, had attacked Conway for an ad criticizing his alleged college antics and questioning his religious faith.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.