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. stop taking my taxes

    Finally a grown up running the state. After two democants have almost run us out of business.

    March 24, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. stop the nonsense

    All of these actions by conservativesstates to try and get around the healthcare law are a joke.
    Like the Car insurance laws, the seat belt laws, the drinking laws and others, the legisature will tie government funding to the implementation of the law. And any lawmaker that knows their job,knows that.
    This also answers all the nay-sayers on here that say auto insurance and healthcare insurnace cannot be compared. They most definitely can!

    March 24, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Tom B

    How come it is always the states that get the most money from the federal government that complain about the involvement of the federal government?

    March 24, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. badger

    Maybe it's time that we quit wasting money on lawsuits on health care and get on with the business of JOBS.
    Ironic isn't it that the party thats so against trial lawyers and is the big pusher for tort reform, when they lose a vote first thing that their going to do is sue sue sue sue. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    March 24, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    To what lenghts will these folks NOT go?

    I'm interested in seeing how this plays out. Common sense would dictate that legislators would've forseen this latest tactic, just based on the GOP'S MO. Last I read on the subject, federal 'trumps' state, so to speak.

    Popcorn's popping. Let the 'games' begin.

    March 24, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Tom, St Paul

    It's no more illegal than the payments we are required to make for Social Security, a social insurance program.

    March 24, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Mark

    Good! As a Virginia citizen I do not want the Federal Government taking over my health care. I am afraid that our Congressmen from Virginia who voted for this bill will soon find this out in November.

    March 24, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Winston-Salem

    They certainly have the right to pursue legal remedies. The feds shoudl come up a response to such as stopping or decreasing Medicaid and/or other federal assistnace programs to those states.

    March 24, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Jim

    Ain't that sweet? Too bad he doesn't have the authority to do this. No state can over-rule federal laws. The Federal Laws govern all states. Unless he can prove that the law is unconstitutional (Good luck), he can't take any legislative measure to over-rule it.

    March 24, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. k

    It seems really interesting to me that there is this big of a problem with this legislation. I think that the problem is that the president is a man of color who thought this legislation up and implemented it.
    That is the rub for the Republicans. Nowhere in history has a president been more disrespected and shunned and I for one don't understand it. These people are suppose to represent the American people( I guess a lot of us have no home training). Just pitiful.

    March 24, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Jay

    I live in Virginia and I want to know how much tax payer money will be wasted in these foolish lawsuits? I call it foolish because these republicans know they are not going to win and still want to take the federal government to court. This is all politics at the expense of the tax payers. What can we do about that?

    March 24, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    This is the guy that, shortly after taking office, signed an executive order rescinding discrimination against those in the LGBT community. Are we surprised here? I'd like to see these guys explain how they are for yearly limits, lifetime limits, pre-existing condition denial, letting your kid sink or swim when they get out of college and can't find a job, etc. etc. Come on. Who's going to go first?

    March 24, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. britto-fl

    They 're going to lose on this in the long run when people begin to see that it benefits them, what a bunch of sore loosers! People should protest on these attorney who are using our tax money to keep us from getting health insurance in our states. We should sue them!

    March 24, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. BlackMANinterested..........

    Kewl so when we say........................LOOK at what the GOP'ers represent (noting that it's always against WORKING America) that means nothing to them right?

    March 24, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. cspurgeon

    This guy seemed so good in the primaries. Watch out for the wackos in disguise. i wonder how the independents feel about this centrist...

    March 24, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Excellent!

    Personally, I hope this snowballs into a wholesale put-down of the Federal government. They've been cynically abusing the Commerce Claus for decades as an end-run around the tenth amendment and, with any luck, this will put a stop to that.

    If the people who wrote the Constitution had intended the states to doormats to the federal government, they would have written it that way. In fact, one bunch, the Federalists, including Alexander Hamilton, wanted exactly that, and not only were they shot down in the body of the Constitution (by, for example, giving control of the budget to Congress, representing states, rather than to the President) but were shot down again by the Bill of Rights, particularly the Ninth and Tenth Amendments,
    that specifically tell the feds to keep their noses out of the States' affairs.

    March 24, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. YES WE CAN!

    This Governor is a real jerk. America can't afford to elect anymore of these republican sheep. They put their party before GOD,Country, and the people. They like calling Obama Hitler, but I'm more reminded of Hitler when I see Republicans. And remember Republicans all the nazis were white (Just like 99% of your party). I don't have a problem with white people but I take it as an insult as black man to see another black man being called Hitler. Hitler hated blacks. The ractist right may want to remember that they will not be the majority race in the U.S. for long.

    March 24, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  18. Jim

    Typical Right-wing Republican hyprocisy. Complain about medical malpractice lawsuits and then turnaround and use taxpayer money to file a lawsuit to oppose healthcare reform. Republicans, Right wingers and tea-partiers are truly a party of NO.
    I have some tea for them, but I will strain it through my kidneys first.

    March 24, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. Elle in WA

    Isn't it a law that states we HAVE to have auto insurance when we drive a car? So how is it any different requiring a person to have health insurance?

    March 24, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. joel palmer

    This guy never read the Constitution (the gop never does) read Article 6 Clause 2 the supremacy clause. It's the law of the land and no state can do anything about it.

    March 24, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  21. JES

    I hope all states follow your lead.

    My understanding is that this will add about 150,000 more government jobs which I thought we wanted less government and mor private jobs..

    March 24, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Wonder what the over/under will be on this thread for loons shouting 'treason" over this. I'll start the bidding with 38.

    FWIW, the GOP should lie back and enjoy it. Next year, the sticker shock for rate increases will felt by participants, more docs will curtail medicare/medicaid, copays and costs will go up dramatically, and the deficit will not magically shrink. Then the GOP can rightly say "Don't blame me, I voted against this bill."

    The dems handed the GOP 2012. The GOP should sit back and enjoy the ride.

    March 24, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Gary

    Why can't we in Virginia have a law that would excempt ourselves from social security, medicaid and medicare, along with unemployment insurance and the minimum wage? Those are all Democrat programs put into place and pushed down our throats by that Franklin Roosevelt! McDonnell should also refuse to accept the stimulus package for the Northern VA highway repairs and the money taken for the winter storm damage! That's all contributing to to the national debt and higher taxes!

    March 24, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. angela

    Go get em McDonnell!

    Fight this socialist president!! He is the downfall of this country.
    We should be free to choose the things we want to buy. Not be forced to do something by our governement. Whats the point in my husband being in the military supposedly fighting for our freedoms if the govt in charge now is chipping aways at our rights. I already have "govt" healthcare so to speak. And believe me people all of you who wanted this, you better be ready for a rude awakening!! Its not grand by any means at all. Good luck trying to get refered to see a specialist when you need one!! Good luck getting to see a doctor, period!

    March 24, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. justin

    Alright I issue this to the Conservative Party: It is common knowledge that Republicans OPENLY serve the Christian Faith. I am a Christian and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong about the Republican party and those who SERVE their agenda is that it in NO WAY reflects the views of CHRIST. Anyone who has taken the TIME to understand Jesus would know that if JESUS WERE HERE HE WOULD SAY, "CHARITY BEFORE PROFIT, HUMANITY BEFORE MATERIALITY, and HE WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY SAY THAT HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE GRANTED TO EVERYONE!!! Republican's ignorantly assume that MONEY, LAND, and PEOPLE are possesions that they own and control when the FAIL TO REALIZE that NATURE is in CONTROL and NATURE own's everything. So I think that when a Republican supporter goes toughting off about issues they should remember that JESUS would have said the contray. Thus the Democrats, even though they are Liberl more accurately reflect the Christian way. It is not about Socialism, Marxism, or Anything of that nature. It is about the things this country was founded on; Truth, Justice, and EQUALITY. It is EXPRESSLY written in all founding documents and thus cannot be denied! SO think about what you are doing Republicans and supporteers for you may think that you are serving the Lord when in fact you are only serving Mammon... GREEN PART, INDEPENDANTS AND DEMOCRATS UNITE!! Together we can cure the Republicn Cancer of this country.

    March 24, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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