Attorney General Martha Coakley is heading to Washington to make a legal case for the national health care law that was modeled after Massachusetts’ own landmark 2006 health care law.
On Thursday Coakley will defend the constitutionality of the national law at a National Press Club event called “The Affordable Health Care Act — Constitutional or Not?” Coakley will explain why the results in Massachusetts show Congress had a constitutional basis to enact health care reform including the so-called individual mandate.
The attorney general also will discuss what she said are the benefits Massachusetts has experienced under the state law including greatly expanded access to health care and a reduction of people seeking free care at hospitals.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will offer an opposing view.
The Feb. 9 event at the National Press Club in Washington will serve as a prelude to the U.S. Supreme Court’s consideration of challenges to the law in March. A decision could be reached by June.
Cuccinelli challenged the overhaul, claiming part of the law that requires individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014 is unconstitutional. A federal appeals court threw out his lawsuit, but Cuccinelli has appealed.
His case is among more than 30 lawsuits that have been filed challenging the health care overhaul.