Free Markets, Free People
Virginia State Senate Rejects Health Care Insurance Mandate
In a bit of a surprising move the Virginia Senate has rejected the Obama health care insurance mandate:
Virginia’s Democratic-controlled state Senate passed measures Monday that would make it illegal to require individuals to purchase health insurance, a direct challenge to the party’s efforts in Washington to reform health care.
Let’s just say that “direct challenge” seems to be an understatement here. I was expected that the lower house, the GOP controlled House of Delegates, would pass such a bill, but not the Democratically controlled Senate:
Each of three similar bills that passed the state Senate on Monday would run counter to legislation passed by both chambers of Congress, which would require all individuals to purchase health care.
The bills were also expected to be approved by the GOP-controlled House of Delegates. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said he will review the bills but supports their intent.
What legal power this would have if such a mandate was passed by Congress is anyone’s guess, but it sure does set up an “interested party” for a law suit doesn’t it?
And, as I implied in the opening, VA isn’t the only state making such moves:
Measures prompted by the Washington debate are pending in at least 29 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
VA’s argument is a constitutional one – backers of the bill claim that Congress does not have the constitutional authority to require anyone buy insurance. This bill, if signed into law, puts VA in the position to challenge any such law on those grounds should Congress pass one.
And that is the fate, I believe, of any such reform that Congress tries to pass – lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit. And frankly I’m glad to see states trying to reassert their rights in this supposedly federal system. That is another great way to begin reigning in the national government.
Of course most of this is driven by politics and the desire of pols to keep their jobs. Any guess as to what is getting the credit?
The bills, a top priority of Virginia’s “tea party” movement, were approved 23 to 17 as five Democrats who represent swing areas of the state joined all 18 Republicans in the chamber in backing the legislation.
For Congressional Democrats, it’s another warning shot right across the bow. I have to wonder how many it will take to finally get their attention and have them scuttle that health care reform bill monstrosity on their own?