Here's Delegate Bob Marshall's (R-13, Manassas) take on the Health Care Freedom legislation pending in the General Assembly, in a statement released earlier today, in light of the historic Senate vote yesterday:
Congress is attempting to make Virginia and other states mere administrative agents for dubious public policies that the Congress either lack the money to enforce or the authority to enact. Congress has seen states pay for the programs or fail to challenge their legitimacy because of the financial and legal difficulty of doing so.
Rights are not kept secure by silence or timidity in defending them. For too long, state legislators have been intimidated from challenging members of Congress to abide by the Constitutional limits on their enumerated powers. And for too long, citizens have allowed their state representatives to do nothing in defense of their rights against predators in Washington, D.C. — until now.
The Ninth and Tenth Amendments clearly reserve to citizens and states the power to challenge and reject over-reaching policies of the national government such as National Health Care. ...
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The Health Care Freedom Act (HB 10) is a challenge to Obamacare insurance mandates. It protects an individual's right to participate in or to decline to participate in a health care system or plan for any lawful medical service, and it prohibits the imposition of a penalty, tax, or fine upon an individual who declines to enter into a contract for health care coverage. HB 10 will allow Attorney General Cuccinelli to defend any Virginia taxpayer against the IRS for declining to purchase health care required by Obamacare.
Congress’ own Budget staff has stated that never in 220 years have individuals been mandated to purchase any private good or service by Congress, much less be prosecuted by fines and jail time for refusing to do so.
And the Congressional Research Service in 2009 noted that the individual insurance mandates face constitutional problems:
“Despite the breadth of powers that have been exercised under the Commerce Clause, it is unclear whether the clause would provide a solid constitutional foundation for legislation containing a requirement to have health insurance. Whether such a requirement would be constitutional under the Commerce Clause is perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal, as it is a novel issue whether Congress may use this clause to require an individual to purchase a good or a service.”
Attorney General Cuccinelli supports HB 10. HB 10 passed subcommittee 8-2. A full House of Delegates vote is expected Feb. 7-8 or after. HB 10 is the most viewed bill on the General Assembly's website in the 2010 session. (See HB 10 Q and A at www.delegatebob.com.)