SSSJR 7: Relating to federal claims against funds obtained by settlement of state tobacco litigation.
00SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7 01 Relating to federal claims against funds obtained by settlement of state tobacco 02 litigation. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the State of Alaska, taking all of the risks inherent in litigation, brought 05 suit against major cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers based on state antitrust and 06 consumer protection claims solely to collect the state's smoking-related expenditures; and 07 WHEREAS none of the claims asserted by the state were based on a Medicaid 08 recoupment statute or included the assertion of claims based on federal law for the federal 09 government's tobacco-related Medicaid expenditures; and 10 WHEREAS the State of Alaska entered into a settlement agreement in state court 11 based on state antitrust and consumer protection law claims with cigarette and smokeless 12 tobacco companies for $669,000,000 on November 23, 1998; and 13 WHEREAS the federal government, through the Health Care Finance Administration, 14 has asserted that it is entitled to a significant share of the state settlement on the basis that it
01 represents the federal share of Medicaid costs; and 02 WHEREAS the federal government declined to bring its own action to assert a claim 03 for the federal money it spent for the treatment of smoking-related illnesses in Alaska and 04 provided no assistance to the state during the litigation or during settlement negotiations; and 05 WHEREAS the federal government asserts that it is authorized and obligated, under 06 the Social Security Act, to collect its share of any settlement funds attributed to Medicaid; and 07 WHEREAS the state tobacco lawsuit was brought for violation of state law under state 08 law theories and the state lawsuit did not make any federal claims; and 09 WHEREAS the state bore all the risk and expense in the litigation brought in state 10 court and settled without any assistance from the federal government; and 11 WHEREAS the state is entitled to all of the funds negotiated in the tobacco settlement 12 agreement without any federal claim; 13 BE IT RESOLVED that the Twenty-First Alaska State Legislature respectfully 14 requests the Congress to enact and the President to sign legislation to prohibit any federal 15 claim against money obtained by settlement of state tobacco litigation; and be it 16 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Twenty-First Alaska State Legislature respectfully 17 urges the President of the United States to direct the Health Care Finance Administration to 18 review the facts related to the tobacco settlement with the State of Alaska and refrain from 19 taking steps to pursue recoupment of dollars to which the federal government is not entitled. 20 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 21 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President 22 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of the U.S. Department of 23 Health and Human Services; the Honorable Trent Lott, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; 24 the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; and to the 25 Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the 26 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.