The arguments of a group of Republican state attorneys general who are talking up a constitutional challenge to the "Cornhusker Kickback" provision of the health care bill are "strictly political" and do not have legal merit, a law professor tells TPMmuckraker.
"If a private individual brought the suit, the court might assess a fine for bringing a frivolous suit," says Timothy Jost, a health law specialist at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who favors the reform bill.
The effort being led by South Carolina Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Henry McMaster focuses on a measure in the Senate bill secured by Ben Nelson (D-NE), under which the federal government would fully pay for the expansion of Medicaid in Nebraska, saving the state $100 million in 10 years. Other states would have to share the new costs with the federal government, as they do now.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint asked McMaster to review the constitutionality of the provision because "it results in special treatment for only one state in the nation." McMaster is now joined by nine other GOP state AGs, including Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Mike Cox of Michigan, who, like McMaster, are running for governor...........