The Attorney General is instructing his staff to begin a thorough and detailed analysis of the health care reform legislation, which, of course, may change further through the reconciliation process. We are mindful of the concerns that have been expressed by the Lt. Governor and other members of the General Assembly and very much respect their input. Of course, as the Lt. Governor has suggested, we will carefully analyze the pleadings filed by other states in this matter in order to inform a decision.
This is complex legislation which will be implemented in stages over the coming decade. For example, the individual mandate for the purchase of health care insurance and the requirement that the states expand Medicaid coverage will not take effect for several years. As always in this office, a decision to file a lawsuit will be made after consultation with the affected departments of state government, careful deliberation regarding legal precedents, and only upon a determination that litigation is proper, prudent, and timely. In the meantime, as Tennesseans have long respected, this office will be conscientious to avoid engagement in on-going political debates.