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Virginia Ruling on Federal Health Care Bill Bolsters Arizona Challenges

November 19, 2014

Virginia will move forward with its lawsuit challenging federal health care reform after U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson rejected the Obama administration’s attempt to simply dismiss the case out of hand. The judge’s ruling today reinforces Arizona’s various efforts to protect individuals from government-mandated health insurance, according to the Goldwater Institute.

“The Obama administration was certain the legal battles over national health insurance would be easily won,” said Clint Bolick, director of the Institute’s litigation center. “But the opening round goes to the defenders of freedom.”

Earlier this year, Virginia became the first state to adopt a version of the Health Care Freedom Act, which forbids laws that force individuals to buy government-approved health insurance or face stiff fines. The idea for the Health Care Freedom Act originated in Arizona as the brainchild of Dr. Eric Novack and the Goldwater Institute helped to draft the language. The measure was referred by the Arizona Legislature as a proposed constitutional amendment to the November general election ballot as Proposition 106.
Wielding its version of the Health Care Freedom Act, Virginia sued the federal government to block the mandate for everyone to buy government-approved health insurance, scheduled to start in 2014. The Obama administration asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit on numerous grounds, including the argument that the Health Care Freedom Act is pre-empted by federal law.

Judge Hudson declined to dismiss the lawsuit, holding that it presents serious constitutional issues of federalism and the limits of federal power. “Unquestionably,” Judge Hudson concluded, the individual mandate “radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America.”
Several other legal challenges against federal health care law are pending, including an action in Florida that was joined by Gov. Jan Brewer and 19 other states. The Goldwater Institute plans to file a new legal challenge to the health care bill on August 12.

You can read Judge Hudson’s ruling in its entirety here.

The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.



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