At least 10 Republican attorneys general are lining up to challenge the Democratic health care bill, arguing it could be unconstitutional.
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster is leading the charge. He questions the legality of a compromise exempting Nebraska from paying for an expansion of Medicaid.
“Why is it that Nebraska pays no taxes, pays no money as a state while the other 49 states do?” he asks.
McMaster, who is running for governor of South Carolina, says Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Utah are part of a group looking into whether Nebraska’s treatment in the bill is constitutional. He calls it “arbitrary and capricious spending.”
But not all attorneys general are embracing the idea of a lawsuit. Mississippi’s Jim Hood, a Democrat, says it’s a tough argument in so-called beneficiary states, where federal spending exceeds what the citizens pay in federal income taxes.
“Other states are subsidizing Mississippi now. We get more subsidies on Medicaid than any other state in the nation,” Hood says. “So certainly for states like us it wouldn’t be good to take the position that everybody ought to be equal. I haven’t seen their legal argument but I just don’t think it would hold water because of that comparison.”