Incoming AG to feds: Hands off my state
Virginia leader chomping at the bit to fight 'Obamacare'
Officials in Virginia a short time ago joined attorneys general in a dozen other states to object to the provisions of "Obamacare," the pending legislation that would give the federal goverment unprecedented control of health care, and the state's incoming attorney general is chomping at the bit to get to work on the issue.
Ken Cuccinelli, who took the oath of office this weekend, said it's a simple matter of the government lacking authority to impose the decisions members of Congress are making for their constituents. "I believe the individual mandate violates individual rights," Cuccinelli said in an interview. "I do not believe the federal government has the legal authority in the [U.S.] Constitution to mandate that individual Americans purchase health insurance.
"A corollary to that is that the [Senate] bill, as it is currently written, requires state governments to set up healthcare exchanges to facilitate individual mandates. I do not believe that under the Constitution the federal government has the authority to dictate or effectively force states into its bureaucracy,” he said.
The opposition is just one of the moves afoot to challenge the Democrat plan should it eventually succeed and be adopted as law. The outgoing Virginia attorney general, Bill Mims, had joined with 12 other Republican state attorneys general to object to the Senate's version, which exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid fees.
The group wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., late last month asking that the provision by Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., be struck from the bill to "avoid litigation."
They also warned, "By singling out the particular provision relating to special treatment of Nebraska, we do not suggest there are no other legal or constitutional issues in the proposed health care legislation."
The Nebraska provision was inserted to exempt the state from paying significant costs of health care that taxpayers in other states will be required to pay. It was added to obtain support for the bill from Nelson, who had a number of objections.
Cuccinielli, a strong advocate for states' rights as outlined in the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, said his office simply will not defend a statute that violates the state or U.S. constitutions.
He also said he will be working with attorneys general from other states on that very issue. For his own state, he's hoping the General Assembly will adopt a law that would protect its citizens from anything unconstitutional in the federal health care plan . State Delegate Bob Marshall, a Republican, already has formulated a bill.