The Republican candidate for Attorney General says, if elected, he will challenge the federal government more on West Virginia’s behalf, especially when it comes to the health care reform law.
"They have about one year to get it ready and I’m not sure they’re going to make their deadline," Patrick Morrisey said of the Affordable Care Act on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline.
The bulk of the law, which the U.S. Supreme Court largely upheld earlier this year, is scheduled to take effect in 2014.
"It’s clear that, because the federal government hasn’t issued many of the rules, there could be some additional litigation, one, flowing from the Supreme Court case and, two, just because there could some impossibilities of having this law get implemented in time," Morrisey said.
Morrisey is running against longtime Attorney General Darrell McGraw in the November General Election.
McGraw opted not to have West Virginia join 26 other states in challenging the Affordable Care Act. But Morrisey, a Capitol Hill lawyer specializing in health care, says West Virginia should have been part of that original lawsuit.
"I would argue that under the West Virginia Constitution, the Attorney General could have brought suit under the ACA," Morrisey said.
"But my approach would not just be to be trigger happy and file lawsuits. What I would want to do is sit down with the Governor, sit down with the agencies and say, ‘I think this is in the best interest of the state. Let’s have a conversation about it.’"
McGraw was first elected Attorney General in 1992. Prior to that, he served on the West Virginia Supreme Court.
In the time since he has become Attorney General, Morrisey claims McGraw has made the AG’s Office "one dimensional" by largely focusing on consumer protection issues. Morrisey says the larger job of the Attorney General is to guard West Virginia’s economy.
Morrisey’s appearance on MetroNews Talkline is part of series of interviews with the candidates that will continue until the November 6th General Election.
An invitation for a show appearance has been extended to Attorney General McGraw.