Freedom-loving, constitution-respecting Virginians are one step closer to seeing Virginia enact historic legislation! Today, the House Commerce and Labor Committee voted 17-5 to report HB 10, The Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, to the House floor. The bill is patroned by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas). The committee also rolled the similarly worded HB 722, patroned by Delegate Chris Peace (R-97 Hanover), into HB 10. In introducing the bill, Delegate Marshall told the committee that the Congressional Budget Office cited the fact that Congress in 220 years never has mandated an individual purchase of any product — and if it hasn't done so in that time, it means it knows it can't do so. In typical Marshall style, he also quoted Alexander Hamilton, the most ardent supporter among the Founding Fathers of an influential central government, in Federalist 83, where he explicitly stated Congress' power extends only to certain enumerated powers and defined the "welfare" clause quite differently than do most politicians today.

In addition, the committee scheduled a late vote on SB 283, SB 311 and SB 417, the health care freedom bills passed in historic fashion by the Senate. The Senate bills are patroned by Senators Fred Qualye (R-13, Suffolk), Steve Martin (R-11, Chesterfield) and Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), respectively. Easy victories were expected for those bills as well.

Virginia now is only a few steps from leading on, and asserting, what it so profoundly led and asserted two centuries ago: That the states and the people, as explicitly stated in the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution, are the sovereigns of this country and commonwealth, and where the central government has no stated role, the people have natural rights to make decisions for themselves. Virginia now has the opportunity, in a new era, once again to lead the country in respect for constitutionally guaranteed limited government.

Even with this great momentum, nothing — nothing — should ever be taken for granted around here. These four bills – HB 10, SB 283, SB 311 and SB 417 – now go to the House floor. Anyone of the Senate bills that passes will go to Governor Bob McDonnell for his signature. E-mail your delegate (here) (or find your delegate here) and ask him or her to vote in favor of Virginians’ rights to make their own health care decisions without the federal government’s intrusion.