Democrats criticize Cuccinelli lawsuit - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Democrats criticize Cuccinelli lawsuit

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Health care reform is poised to become the law of the land in less than 24 hours, but Republicans are not giving up quite yet.

Virginia is in a unique position, a state with an Attorney General willing to file suit and a state legislature that has already banned mandatory health insurance.

Republicans are ready to fight until the very end. Democrats believe they are wasting their time and taxpayer money.

Virginia Democrats believe Ken Cuccinelli is playing fast and loose with the office of Attorney General.

"It is obvious that he is using this office for his political agenda," said Senator Donald McEachin

McEachin is a former colleague of Cucccinelli's and a one-time candidate for Attorney General. He doesn't buy the claim that the Republican is just defending up the Constitution.

"I feel these lawsuits are frivolous," said the State Senator. "There is a ton of constitutional law that suggests that these lawsuits are frivolous."

Cuccinelli claims that he made no secret about his intention to take dramatic steps to fight health care reform. For him this isn't a political battle.

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

And despite a landslide electoral victory for Republican statewide candidates and a bi-partisan bill to keep the health insurance mandate out of the commonwealth, Democrat McEachin prefers to believe that it was the election in 2008, not 2009, that mattered.

"I think that was the will of the people being voiced," McEachin said of Barack Obama's 2008 victory. "Unfortunately my view did prevail in the Virginia legislature, it did prevail in the Congress and I think it will prevail in the courts as well."

A conclusion we may not know is true for some time. 

Governor Bob McDonnell is scheduled to sign the bill that would outlaw the health insurance mandate in Virginia on Wednesday. Monday he told reporters that in his view, health insurance reform will cost the Commonwealth of Virginia $1 billion in increased Medicaid costs over the next 12 years.

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