Although acknowledging disappointment in being on the losing side of the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, McKenna, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, said he's ready to implement its new health- insurance exchanges and
"There are a number of good provisions in this law that ought to be maintained," McKenna said at a news conference in downtown
Gleeful Democrats, meanwhile, signaled they'll continue to pummel McKenna over his participation in the case.
"I am the person in this race who has zealously guarded that right of Washingtonians," Inslee said at his own
As a member of
McKenna has always said he supported certain parts of the law, including the provisions guaranteeing insurance coverage for pre- existing conditions such as cancer, and allowing kids to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.
Despite those public statements, the legal filings in the lawsuit, made in McKenna's name along with 25 other state attorneys general, had sought to strike down the entire law.
McKenna's muted reaction to Thursday's ruling stood in sharp contrast to the fiery retorts by many Republicans across the country.
But McKenna said that would be wrong, and praised the exchanges, which are online marketplaces that will allow people to shop for affordable health plans. On the
McKenna said Democrats erred in passing the massive health-care law as a single package without bipartisan support.
"To completely blow it up means, I think, that we are committing the same sin, but in reverse," McKenna said. Instead, he said critics should "find the parts that are objectionable and work through them."
McKenna even said the controversial individual mandate -- which requires most adults to maintain health insurance or pay a tax-- should stand "for now" because it's so tied to key features in the law, such as coverage of pre-existing conditions.
Democrats called that a reversal, noting that McKenna had earlier argued for striking the mandate while leaving the rest of the law intact.
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