ICYMI: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is part of a proud vanguard of Republican state lawyers attempting to scrap the entire  Affordable Care Act , including the popular requirement for coverage of pre-existing health conditions.

Talking Points Memo writes about the suit here and the political peril it holds for two attorneys general seeking U.S. Senate seats — Josh Hawley of Missouri and Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia. Rutledge, of course, has an opponent in November, Democrat Mike Lee.


“There’s no good time for GOP candidates to be arguing that they want coverage for pre-existing conditions to be unconstitutional,” David Bergstein, the national press secretary of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), told TPM. “But doing so in September ensures it will be fresh on people’s minds when they vote.”While Republicans have campaigned successfully for many years on promises and attempts to kill the ACA, the political tide has turned, and Democrats are hoping that Republicans’ participation in the lawsuit will drag them down in close races across the country.

… The lawsuit has been called “absurd,” “frivolous” and “ludicrous” by legal experts, even those who have supported past challenges to the ACA. Essentially, the 20 Republican attorneys general are arguing that the individual mandate is so integral to Obamacare that, because Congress repealed it last year, the rest of the health care reform law has to go too.

Professor Nicholas Bagley at the University of Michigan Law School told TPM that the lawsuit should be viewed as “a rear-guard effort” to repeal Obamacare “by judicial means,” and not as a serious legal argument.

“The whole thing is absurd. The arguments are frivolous and made in bad faith and should be rejected summarily,” he said. “When Congress repealed the individual mandate, they could have chosen to repeal the entirety of the ACA and declined to do so. So we know that they wanted to leave the rest of the law standing. That’s true whether or not a prior Congress believed that the individual mandate was essential to its proper functioning.”

As we’ve reported before, Rutledge is proud of her participation in a lawsuit that could kill insurance coverage for previously sick people. David Ramsey wrote when she intervened:

If a court actually enjoined the entire health care law, the health care marketplaces would be thrown into chaos and millions of Americans would have coverage and access to care threatened. If the entire law was actually thrown out on the basis of this lawsuit, millions of Americans would lose Medicaid coverage, millions more would lose subsidies they depend on for affordable insurance, millions of people with pre-exisiting conditions would again face price discrimination from insurance companies, the exchanges where millions of people currently have health plans would disappear, the Medicare donut hole would be re-opened, and millions of young people would lose coverage they’re now getting on their parents’ plans. In Arkansas, the uninsured rate would likely more than double overnight. Billions in federal spending on health care in the state would stop. But Republicans would be able to say they beat Obamacare. There can be no greater prize for Rutledge. 

Arkansas Republicans in Congress all are on record in opposition to the Affordable Care Act, too.


Do not rehire.