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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2009
AG McKenna statement on special treatment of Nebraska in health care bill

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster that he is researching the constitutionality of a portion of the U.S. Senate’s health care bill. AG McMaster says he is organizing a group of state attorneys general to examine the legality of the special arrangement in the Senate’s health care proposal which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying additional Medicaid costs mandated by the bill.

“The arrangement that requires Washington state taxpayers, and those around the country, to permanently pay Nebraska’s additional Medicaid costs carries a price tag of untold millions,” McKenna said. “It raises key constitutional questions about whether residents of certain states should receive special privileges, based on the deal-making skills of their senators. I look forward to working with Attorney General Henry McMaster and other colleagues in researching the constitutionality of such a provision.”

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Update (12/30/2009): McKenna and 12 other state attorneys general signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, warning them the special treatment provision is “constitutionally flawed” and asking them to remove it.

Contacts:
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725
Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager, (206) 464-6432

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