By Dave Donaldson
Governor Parnell is looking at ways to bypass implementation of the federal health care act. He says he has requested advice from the Attorney General on what steps he can take in response to a Florida federal court’s decision earlier this week that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
He says the decision in the litigation, to which Alaska was a party, requires him to follow his oath of office and support the Constitution.
Right now, the law of the land – as stated by the district court – is that entire law is unconstitutional. So I’m caught between a federal government that says you must pursue this, and I have the duty to uphold the rule of law. So I’m asking the attorney general “What does that duty look like given this court ruling. “
Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French disagrees, saying the governor is overreacting to a single ruling by a single federal district court judge. He says if the governor is opposed to the act itself, he has a duty to suggest alternatives to those aspects of the bill that people need.
I’d ask the governor, “why do you want to go back to the bad old days when insurance companies could drop you when you get sick. That’s one of the things that the Affordable Care Act fixed. It also instituted other popular reforms like allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance plans until the children turn 26. That’s something that I think is good. That’s something the governor apparently opposes because he’s looking to stop all the aspects of the Affordable Care Act. And I think he’s just wrong.
Parnell points to the “individual mandate” provisions of the law that requires universal health insurance. He says he has not pursued that mandate and will not do so until he gets input from the attorney general. French says it falls on the governor to come up with a replacement that the public wants and needs.