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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

June 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Crowd happy with court ruling, unhappy with McKenna

From Staff Reporter Kibkabe Araya:

Shame on you, Rob McKenna!” 100 supporters of the Affordable Care Act yelled up to Attorney General Rob McKenna ’s high-rise office in downtown Seattle.

Representatives from Healthcare for America Now, Planned Parenthood, Washington Community Action Network and Nurse Alliance, and individuals gathered outside McKenna’s offices throughout the state to let him know they were upset for signing onto the lawsuit that threatened the landmark piece of health-care legislation saved today by the Supreme Court.

“Shame on you, Rob McKenna! Trying to play politics with the lives of Washingtonians,” said Nikki Mackey, 38, of Seattle, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2010, nine months after losing her job.

 Because the law bars insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, Mackey says she won’t have to worry about getting health insurance.

“[McKenna] forgot the rock where he came from. He was a full-time student before he was elected, before he became attorney general,” said Joselito Lopez, 41, of Mountlake Terrace.

A full-time student at Central Washington University, Lopez says his insurance company dropped him in 2007, when he  was having double bypass heart surgery, leaving him in $90,000 in debt. Unemployed and considered high-risk, in 2014, he wouldl be eligible for Medicaid because of expanded eligibility.

“There’s always a wait. I got to keep on doing what I’m doing,” Lopez said.

McKenna, who is running for governor, did not appear before the crowd. On Thursday, he told reporters that voters should view him as having done the right thing in standing up for the constitution when he and the other attorneys general challenged the individual mandate.

But Colette Cosner, 25, of Seattle said McKenna should be ashamed for “putting people’s health in jeopardy.”

Since graduating from college four years ago, Cosner has held 10 jobs — all without health insurance. Now with the law, she can stay on her father’s plan until age 26.

Present at the signing of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, Marcelas Owens, 13, of Seattle had the chance to meet President Barack Obama. He lost his mother to pulmonary hypertension in 2007 after she lost her job along with her her insurance.

“This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for all of us,” he told the crowd. 

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