Attorney general candidate pledges to combat ‘Obamacare’

Published 8:59 am Thursday, July 22, 2010

While kicking off a multicity tour to launch his campaign for Minnesota attorney general, Republican Chris Barden stopped in Austin Tuesday and said that the federal health care overhaul needs to be repealed.

“We were sold a bill that doesn’t exist in reality,” Barden said. “It just transfers power to Washington.”

The candidate added: “It will dumb down Minnesota’s health care system.”

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Barden said he believes that with resources like the Mayo Health System in southeastern Minnesota, the state is among the national leaders in health care. However, he feels that “Obamacare” — a reference to the president, who vigorously supported the bill — will infringe on that, leading him to call the bill a violation of the 10th Amendment.

“It’s a serious intrusion into our personal liberties,” Barden said. “I would certainly support states finding their own way.”

Along those lines, Barden said that if he was elected, he would immediately join a multistate effort to get courts to overturn central aspects of the law, including a requirement that mandates health insurance for most Americans.

Lori Swanson, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor attorney general currently in office, previously declined to join the lawsuit. Instead, she stated that she would file a brief with the court in support of the law, though that has yet to happen, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Swanson could not be reached directly for comment Tuesday, but reported through her staff that she was focused on her job and not on Barden’s politics.

Barden said he thinks he has support from Minnesota voters in his effort to repeal the federal health care overhaul.

“They don’t want Obamacare,” he said.

In May, a Rasmussen Reports poll found that 50 percent of Minnesotans supported repealing the health care bill, with 43 percent opposed. But support for a repeal was lower here than the national average of 59 percent. The poll’s margin of error was 4.5 percentage points.

Barden is currently up against fellow Republican Sharon Anderson in a primary. After the primary election on Aug. 10, the state’s general election will be on Nov. 2.