In 2010 Governor Bob McDonnell signed the “Health Care Freedom Act” that basically nullified the ObamaCare mandate to purchase health insurance in Virginia. At the time of signing McDonnell said that while Virginians needed health insurance coverage at reduced costs it, “should not be accomplished through an unprecedented federal mandate . . .that we believe violates the U.S. Constitution.”
That was then – NOW McDonnell is caving. He believes shoving ObamaCare down our throats is the only option in light of Obama’s re-election.
“The federal health-care law, it looks like now, it will go into effect,” McDonnell told reporters at a post-election news conference. “The president is obviously behind it. The Senate is Democrat. There’s not going to be, at least at this point, . . . a complete repeal.”
In the near term, that means Virginia faces a deadline. By Nov. 16, the state must tell the federal government whether it intends to set up its own insurance exchange, use the federal one or come up with a hybrid system. The exchange is an online marketplace through which people can shop for health insurance provided by the law.
If that deadline holds — several others have been extended as the law has rolled out — McDonnell said he intends to opt for the federal exchange, at least for now. That represents a shift for the governor, who previously said that if the law stood, he would prefer to have Virginia control its own exchange.
McDonnell said there are too many unanswered questions — how much a state-run exchange would cost, how well the federal version will work, whether the private sector might fill the niche — to move ahead on a Virginia exchange. He said his letters to President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, seeking clarification in a number of areas, have gone unanswered.
“I don’t want to buy a pig in a poke for the taxpayers of Virginia,” McDonnell said. “Without further information, the only logical decision for us is to use the federal option.”
A U.S. Supreme Court decision prevents the federal government from forcing states to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion by withholding all Medicaid funding from any state that refused to do so.
The governor also said he would not expand Medicaid — something the law had tried to force on states but the Supreme Court made optional — unless the health-care program for the poor and disabled is greatly reformed. The federal government has promised to pick up most of the tab for the expansion, but McDonnell said he doubted that Washington had the means to make good on that.
This is stunning news considering that he and House Speaker William J. Howell of Stafford responded to the grassroots and blacked legislative attempts to create a state-based exchange, knowing full well that it would pave the way for ObamaCare.
Is it because he is leaving office next year that McDonnell thinks it is okay to go back on his word and ignore Virginia law?
If McDonnell caves and creates the federal exchange in Virginia – there will be no changing course later. Federal law dictates that federal exchanges under ObamaCare be operated by rules and regulations promulgated by the Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, with Virginians footing the bill. Costs are estimated to be somewhere between $10 – $100 million.
Alabama voters approved an Amendment to their Constitution that prohibits anyone or any agency, federal or state, from forcing anyone to participate in ObamaCare. 65% of voters in Montana approved a bill that also prohibits implementation of ObamaCare and protects their citizens from having to pay penalties for not purchasing health insurance. Wyoming also passed a similar measure. 9 members of the Wisconsin state legislature plan to back a bill that calls for the arrest of federal officers who try to implement Obamacare. 8 of the 9 also want a bill to prosecute TSA agents who physically search passengrs with sexual assault.
It is time to remind McDonnell that he works for us and not the health care lobby or the federal government. It is Governor McDonnells’ responsibility under the 10th Amendment to stand up to the over-reaching power of the federal government and protect the citizens of Virginia. We will not settle for anything less!
It is imperative that you contact Governor McDonnell TODAY at this link and insist that he stand by the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act and refuse to implement ObamaCare. Creating an exchange in Virginia is illegal under state law.
The fight against the federal take over of our health care system is far from over.