* Perhaps the most futile gesture ever…
Republican members of Illinois’ congressional delegation want Attorney General Lisa Madigan to sue to block the new health care overhaul.
Six lawmakers signed a letter Tuesday urging Madigan to join more than a dozen other state attorneys general who are claiming in court the law is unconstitutional.
Madigan’s office says it isn’t filing a lawsuit. Gov. Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, says Illinois won’t do anything to try to block health care reform.
The letter to Madigan was signed by U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo, Aaron Schock, Peter Roskam, Judy Biggert, John Shimkus and Tim Johnson.
This was about the “base,” not about any hopes that AG Madigan would act on this request.
Also, notice that Mark Kirk isn’t on that list of letter writers. [ADDING: Kirk’s absence is a bit puzzling since he promised just the other day to “lead the effort” to repeal the new law.]
* But top Democrats in the GA are nervous about this law. A week ago, the House took up a resolution on the national healthcare issue…
[Resolved] we urge President Obama and the United States Congress to take immediate action to adopt meaningful heath care system reform in keeping with the Obama administration’s articulated goals
The resolution passed with just 62 votes, even though the Democrats have 70 seats.
Democrats voting “No” were Reps. Crespo, DeLuca, Farnham, Franks, McAsey, Sente and Walker. Rep. Jehan Gordon voted “Present.”
Except for Franks and probably Gordon, that’s most of the people on the Republican target list. The Repubs said they’d be whacking the Dems who voted “Yes” and claimed it was an indication that President Obama’s bill is not polling well in key districts. Perhaps the biggest surprise on that “No” list is Rep. Carol Sente, who has a north suburban district formally represented by Kathy Ryg, who quit the seat last year to take a job running Voices for Illinois Children, a statewide group that lobbies for greater health care spending, among other things.
* A new report by NCSL about states introducing measures to repeal or limit healthcare laws is probably destined to get some media coverage. From the report…
As part of state-based responses to federal health reform legislation, individual members of at least 36 state legislatures are using the legislative process to seek to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions, including single-payer provisions and mandates that would require purchase of insurance. In general the measures seek to make or keep health insurance optional, and allow people to purchase
any type of coverage they may choose. The individual state language varies.
Make sure to keep a few things in mind if this does break through. First and foremost, an introduced bill or resolution often means nothing. The Senate Republicans here could introduce a bill banning compliance with the national law and it would never get out of Rules Committee, for instance.
And then there’s this…
None of the other proposals [besides Virginia and Idaho] listed have been finally approved; Arizona’s resolution of June 2009 was the first measure to have passed the legislative process; A Utah bill passed both chambers and awaits action by the governor. A Tennessee and a Georgia bill has passed one chamber; Constitutional resolutions have advanced through initial steps in Florida, Georgia and Missouri (3/16/10). One amendment failed to pass in Georgia on 3/18/10.
“Did not pass” measures: So far in 2010, bills have been rejected or failed to pass in: Indiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming. A Non-binding resolution in Indiana passed the Senate but did not pass the House.
Many of the measures appear to modeled on the conservative legislative group ALEC’s “Freedom of Choice Act,” which was unveiled in 2008. Most of these state proposals appear to have been introduced last year, and they haven’t moved since.
Also, keep this in mind…
In 29 of the states, the proposals include a proposed constitutional amendment by ballot question. In a majority of these states, their constitution includes an additional “hurdle” for passage - requiring either a “supermajority of 60% or 67% for passage, or requiring two affirmative votes in two seprate years, such as 2010 and 2011.
* State Insurance Director Michael McRaith discusses the impact of health care reform on Illinois: Right now, ICHIP is prohibitively expensive, with premiums of $12,000 to $16,000 annually. It’s funded two-thirds by premiums and one-third by general revenue funds. The federal law shifts that burden so enrollees pay no more than 35 percent of the cost of the program. That’s about a 30 percent reduction in costs. Our expectation is that we’ll get clear guidance from Washington (about who can get insurance through the pools) within 90 days. We expect an implementation time of 15 to 45 days following that. Since individuals in Illinois can be denied health insurance for any reason other than race, religion, color or national origin, we expect a large number of people will sign up.