McDonnell signs Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act

Gov. Bob McDonnell reminded everyone today who enacts law in the Commonwealth of Virginia when he ceremonially signed Virginia’s Health Care Freedom Act, setting up a challenge between the commonwealth and the Federal government.

Flanked by Sen. Steve Martin and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and also joined by Sen. Jill Vogel, Sen. Fred Quayle and Del. Bob Marshall, the governor signed the four pieces of legislation that preserve the choice of all Virginians from having to pay for health care they don’t need, want, or can’t afford.

“We all agree that we must expand access to quality health care and reduce costs for all Virginians. However, that should not be accomplished through an unprecedented federal mandate on individuals that we believe violates the U.S. Constitution,” said McDonnell. “The Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act sets as the policy of the Commonwealth that no individual, with several specific exceptions, can be required to purchase health insurance coverage. The Act was passed with bipartisan support, in sharp contrast to the narrow straight line partisan vote that enacted the federal health care bill on Sunday night. Virginia’s Healthcare Freedom Act received the votes of leading Democratic Senators, as well as the Democratic House Minority Leader. It was an important step to sign this bipartisan legislation today.”

This sets the legal standing for Virginia’s challenge to the Healthcare Reform Act recently signed into law by the President.

“The traditional role of the attorney general is to defend Virginia’s laws,” said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccineilli. “It is now my job to vigorously defend this law from the federal government’s overreach of the Constitution and its attempted encroachment on the rights of Virginians. That is my mandate, and that is my promise to our citizens.”

Making a statement from Washington DC, Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia said, “Governor McDonnell and the people of Virginia understand we need to repeal [the national healthcare bill] and replace it with a more incremental approach that focuses first and foremost on lowering costs, improving access to care, and providing affordable state-based health care options. At the same time, we need to prioritize job creation, help entrepreneurs, cut the deficit, and stop spending money we don’t have.”

Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor; read more.

  • Mike Barrett

    Yes, once you start down the road, it is tough to reverse course, even if it is the right thing to do. Of course, that is what you expect from statesmen; that is, the ability to realize that a different course is now required. The concept of Virginia fighting against the extension of rights to our own population to adequate health care must be making our founding fathers turn over in their graves. I thought that is why they joined the revolution, to secure human rights and freedom for all. The least they could have done is simply wait; no law suit was necessary, but now that the battle has been joined, I believe it will inure to the benefit of others on the political spectrum. McDonnell is showing that he is very limited in his over all view of the needs of citizens, and to join the fight against such a fundamental right as basic health care is to fight against the laws of human nature. Just ask Maslow.

  • Kathy Mateer

    No Mike Barrett, our Founding Fathers joined the Revolution because Great Britain taxed the colonists without allowing colonist to have a vote or say in how much they were being taxed. Now I really know you do not know anything about history. It’s because of people like you, Pelosi and Obama that our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves because all you want to do is espouse your own agenda down everyone elses throat and then make us pay for it. Much like Great Britain did.

  • McDonnell for President 2012

  • Mike, I read your comments twice.. you are a bright and misinformed guy who knows so much that simply isn’t so. The war our founding fathers waged was the culmination of a neccesary revolution. Early on, self governing colonys rejected the parliamentary legitimacy of Great Britain which governed without the colonys representation.. Boycotts followed and we marginalized the Monarchy into submission years later.

    Your party of Yes to more government intrusion and fewer incentives for people to initiate responsible personal healthcare decisions may force ‘Change’ that your party did not intend to bring about.

  • William Bailey


    I’m not worried at all about the Virginia GOP’s challenge to the Heath care reform law. Given Bob McD’s experience as the former Attorney General with Virginia HB 3202, (the transportation bill that created the NOVA and HR Transportation Authorities with was actually ruled “Unconstitutional“) it is clear the Virginia GOP leadership team is once again hanging in the breeze without a clue.

    It is obvious given Bob McD and Cuccineilli’s experience with Unconstitutional laws; they have a track record that indicated they couldn’t determine the constitutionality of a bill or law if it bit them on the rear…

  • Politics with Pam

    Mr. Bailey,

    Just wondering what your qualifications are in constituional law compared to Mr.McDonnell based on your comments above.

    I guess the GOP Leadership team that swept all 3 statewide offices by 15-17 points in in November
    is clueless.

  • Salt Lick

    the extension of rights to our own population to adequate health care must be making our founding fathers turn over in their graves. I thought that is why they joined the revolution, to secure human rights and freedom for all.

    This is not only perverted thinking, but as ignorant of the Consitution’s guarantees as John Conyers’ statement yesterday that ObamaCare is authorized by the “Good and Welfare Clause.”

    Green Tea is good for you, but the Founders would never have passed a law requiring people to buy it under penalty of having their property confiscated. They’d have viewed that as tyranny.

  • William Bailey

    Pam: Finally a voice (besides mine) that understands that 15-17 points can be clueless! Pam: Surely you can be equating 15-17 points with intelligence, cognition or qualifications?

    You don’t have to agree with me. I’m ok with that and don’t expect you will so I was surprised to read your comment. BTW: I’m just pointing out your GOP leadership in Richmond has a track record of not being able to recognize “Constitutional laws” from those that are actually found to be “Unconstitutional.” Just look at the facts…

  • Eng Esch

    Massive Resistance 2010! Woo hoo!!

  • Mike Barrett

    It is a real shame that post health care reform passage, the Governor just does not get that the issue in the forefront for most Virginians is jobs, jobs, and more jobs. This comes at a bad time for McDonnell as an analysis of the effect of the adoption of his budget reveals a job loss for Virginians of 35,000 as a result of the no tax increase mandate he established. Now, some will say those are just government jobs, and therefore of no value, but the political reaction to such an attitude as it reverberates throughout every city, county, and town in Virginia will be substantial. So, what does the Governor and the AG do to respond? They hold press conferences to tilt at windmills. Talk about misplaced priorities and lack of sensibility for what is important.

  • @ Mike Barrett: You don’t understand what an inalienable right is if you call healthcare a right. An inalienable right is a right that comes from our birth, by a creator God, or if you don’t believe in God then Nature.

    For something to be a right it must be something that you have from being born a human which doesn’t take from others for you to have that right.

    Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to defend yourself, Freedom of privacy of you personal effects, freedom of a fair trial, freedom of not being searched without cause all are natural born inalienable rights that don’t take from another individual to secure.

    For me to get free or reduced price Healthcare requires that I take another man’s labor or wealth either through taxes or through making doctors, companies, nurses ect. to give up their labor or wealth by receiving less than they could in a free market. So since it takes from another for you to have its not a right but a good.

    The founders are rolling in their graves that the Federal government went beyond its limited powers and is forcing individuals to buy a product or good from a private corporation..all liberals should be appalled as well. If you don’t buy you pay a fine..and we all know if you don’t pay the feds a fine they will put you in jail. That goes against your rights right there..real rights

  • @ William Bailey: just because a judge declares a law unconstitutional doesn’t mean it is so. Sometimes other judges come along years later and reverse that opinion. Think man Think!

  • @ Mike Barret: Uhm, defending Virginians against the Tyranny of a mandate requiring them to buy a product from a private corporation aka the insurance companies is a top priority.

    This bill was written by the insurance companies to force 31 million Americans to become their customers. Liberals who hate corporations manipulating our government should be livid, but they are giddy.

    Obama and the democrats are corporatists bowing to their corporate masters. I thought the republicans were in the pocket of the insurance companies not the democrats right?

    Well, don’t praise the national republicans either, most of them are big government corportists too, who only voted against the bill so their conservative base wouldn’t vote them out.

    I think McDonnell is a crap head as far as a constitutional leader. This is the only thing good he has done so far, his finger in the wind. Ken Cuccinelli is the only true believer in this bill and constitutional governing McDonnell is just a pretender.

  • William Bailey

    @Kirby harris: You are nuts…

  • H Woods

    @Kirby Harris – So the right to a fair trial comes from nature? “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Kirby, what is the first right? Life. Please tell me how healthcare does not allow people to continue their lives in the pursuit of happiness. Having things like a military and justice system are to allow us to fulfill these rights. We have an education system and roads that we all pay for to help us fulfill those rights. Having a healthcare system is no different. It isn’t taking away the labor and wealth of another any more or less than we do for any of the services I mentioned. We tax for the common good and healthcare is a common good. There are plenty of things all people would not like to pay for that the government does. But it does not mean they are unconstitutional. And it does not mean that people are taking from one person to give to another.

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