March 24th, 2010
09:01 AM ET
3 years ago

Virginia governor to sign law firing back at health care bill

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will sign legislation Wednesday to outlaw the federal government from forcing Virginia residents to buy health insurance.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will sign legislation Wednesday to outlaw the federal government from forcing Virginia residents to buy health insurance.

(CNN) - A day after President Obama signed the health care reform bill, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will put his signature Wednesday on legislation to outlaw the federal government from forcing state residents to purchase health insurance.

The Virginia measure, passed by the state's general assembly last month, directly conflicts with the new federal mandates that all Americans purchase some form of health insurance starting in 2014.

In an effort to sustain the Virginia law, the state's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal district court in Richmond arguing the federal insurance law is an unconstitutional overreach of Congressional power.

While proponents of the measure argue that Congress acted within its authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause provision, Cuccinelli's complaint says the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled that the clause allows Congress to require citizens to purchase a good or service like health insurance.

Cuccinelli's complaint also argues that the Virginia law McDonnell is signing Wednesday trumps the federal law because it is a matter assigned to the states under the Constitution's 10th Amendment. That amendment says that all powers not explicitly granted to the federal government remain with the states.

Idaho has enacted a similar law outlawing individual mandates, and more than a dozen other state attorneys general - led by Florida's Bill McCollum - filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Health care • Popular Posts • Virginia
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    The poor state of Virginia, has a governor who does not care for its people! Can't wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in on all these "law suits" and throw them all out on their..... behinds!

    March 24, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I thought the Nullification Doctrine was finally settled in 1865? I wish these folks would remember their Santayana! Of course, because his last name ends in a vowel, the Republicans probably won't pay attention to anything he said.

    March 24, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. rick

    Will the Governor pay for my insurance? Here is another GOP member in the pockets of big business. The 9th district of VA has the country's biggets RAM clinic every year with thousands of people coming days before it starts just to get in line for free treatment but yet our Congressman votes NO on the health bill and our Governor says no to it. I guess money talks and the sick die. I didn't vote for the new Governor and my Congresman just lost my vote.

    March 24, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Candace Wiggins

    what is wrong with these people don`t they think that this bill will help a lot of people in their health and can save their lives and just think if this were them they would somebody to do something and save their lies so i think they are wrong for this

    March 24, 2010 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  5. Jim

    i'm glad i don't live in virginia. clearly they don't have the interest of their citizens in mind.

    March 24, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Robert

    Way to go red states. You have confirmed the party of obstructionist belief. You have now placed the Supreme Court in a position to say that Congress is right to enact law that is supported by Commerce laws.

    March 24, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. wondering?

    I was just wondering if the law requiring hospitals to treat all regardless of ability to pay is also "unconstitutional" and should be repealed. If you choose to not get insurance under the new law and freedom of choice is all important, why when you get sick and go to a hospital unable to pay the cost of that care, must those of us who have made the choice to have coverage have to pay for those who have made an informed choice to do otherwise?

    March 24, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Navy Vet

    This won't hold up in court. It isn't nothing more than political grand-standing that will cost more tax payer dollars.

    While the GOP are falling over themselves to play partisan politics, the Dems have moved on to job creation and wall street reform.

    Lest they forget, Americans are not only impatient, but have short memories. In November this may come back to bite them in the a*s if they don't start actually doing some work for the people instead of this nonsense.

    March 24, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Here his state is in an economic mess and he is signing a bill preventing access to health care by so many who need it in Va. This guy is a short timer. Especially since those folks will be paying for it within their federal taxes. WOW, where does he get off???

    March 24, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. FL

    Limited federal government is what the founders of this nation wrote in the constitution . They did it for a reason. They also made sure the states were sovereign meaning they were free to live as they saw fit, not to be forced by the federal government to do or not to do anything. They also gave us the right to bear arms because they understood that at some point the government could attempt to take too much power from their citizens. People really need to read up on their history or it will be repeated. The civil war was not really about slavery as much as it was about states wanting to remain sovereign. Most school history books do not full cover this but true scholars agree. I would really hate to see that kind of aggression within our borders repeated but when people feel their rights are being taken away they will take actions to retain them. It becomes even more dangerous when the acting power will Not listen. The best way to derail the over-stepping of the federal government is by passing state laws to counter the federal government. The states are sovereign and as soon as the federal government takes that away it is truly then end.

    March 24, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You've got some wonderful folks in the state of Virginia. This analpore, unfortunately, is NOT one of them. Get to work T'SAH!

    March 24, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Laughing in Florida

    Is this the same GOP that wanted tort reform and have villified lawyers and lawsuits, well, forever? And the minute they lose, they go running to them.

    March 24, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    Oops, I think I mean rescinding non-discrimination. Sorry.

    March 24, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  14. tc

    Riiight. Because ethically its okay for states to mandate car and home insurance (ie on material goods that profit others) but not insurance for my health. If states would have mandated health insurance like they do every other type of insurance then the feds would never have had to get involved. Oh, and if you choose not to have health insurance then all ER's should refuse to treat you as I'm tired of paying for your shortsightedness.

    March 24, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. conniesz

    Fine. If individuals are not required to purchase insurance then hospitals/doctors must not be mandated to provide emergency services without proof of ability to pay. Let's have some people dying in the streets and then see what the Republicans think of the insurance mandate.

    March 24, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  16. Ceibena

    Stop the stupidity senator.

    March 24, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. Tom

    When it finally starts hitting pocketbooks with fines, etc., the American people will finally realize the last straw to their already strained finances, and it will signal the beginning of the end for our government as we know it. Rebellion is coming. It's just a matter of time.

    March 24, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. usualone

    At first glance it seems deplorable that everyone is required to have health insurance. Then I remembered that in my personal experience, at an emergency room in Virginia, those without insurance were treated for minor injuries or illnesses as if the hospital were their primary doctor. I had to wait and almost died because the attention was diverted to those folk. With insurance, they could go to primary doctors for their treatments. Also, indirectly we are all paying higher medical bills to cover those who are uninsured. We all need drivers licenses to drive; why should this be any exception?

    March 24, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Lee, California

    If these states have money to waste on a frviolous lawsuit, why can't they ensure their residents have adequate health insurane? Why would they want to deny health insurance to their residents? Something does not add up with the GOP idea of country first.

    March 24, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. gary davis

    well he will be voted out of office talk about government control jerk . another idiot republican

    March 24, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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