Virginia among many to mount legal challenge on health care reform

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia is among a group of states prepared to challenge the new health care reform in court. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is ready to file his lawsuit as soon as the president signs the bill into law.

It was a promise he made, from his time as a candidate for Virginia's Attorney General, and today Ken Cuccinelli formally announced his plan to file a lawsuit against the federal government to stop the newly passed health care reform proposal.

"We are seeking to have the individual mandate held unconstitutional under the commerce clause. We believe it is a dramatic overreach of the power that congress has under the constitution," said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli joins several other states proposing similar lawsuits, hoping to see the bill tossed out by the courts. According to the AG, Congress knew there were problems, but passed the bill anyway.

"They have known about the constitutional objectives to the individual mandate all along," he said.

Cuccinelli is basing his lawsuit on a section of the health care reform proposal that will require Americans to purchase insurance or face a stiff fine. The General Assembly in Virginia has already passed a bill that Governor McDonnell plans to sign, designed to prevent Virginians from facing that mandate.

Legal scholars are skeptical the legal challenge has merit and Cuccinelli's opponents claim this is nothing more than a political stunt.

"Policy issues are decided by Congress, elections decide those things. Are focus is strictly on the constitutionality or the lack there of, of the bill," Cuccinelli said.

One thing this challenge does have on its side is time. The bulk of the Obama health care reform proposal isn't scheduled to take effect for four years, giving this and other lawsuits plenty of time to have their day in court.

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