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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 12/17/2010

O'Malley won't join McDonnell in calling for quick review of federal health law

By John Wagner

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for O'Malley measures.jpgMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has rebuffed an offer by Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) to join him in requesting an expedited Supreme Court review of this week's ruling by a federal judge in Virginia that part of the nation's massive new health law is unconstitutional.

"As you acknowledged on the phone, we have a difference of opinion on the underlying issue -- I believe that affordable healthcare for all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions will strengthen our nation and make America more competitive in the new global economy," O'Malley wrote in a letter dated Thursday that was released by his office Friday.

According to the ruling in the case, brought by McDonnell and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), it is unconstitutional for the government to compel Americans to buy health insurance.

"Most of the judicial opinions arising out of these nuisance cases are actually upholding the law," O'Malley wrote to McDonnell. "And on the narrow issue of personal responsibility, I believe that too will be upheld -- just as mandatory automobile insurance coverage has been upheld in years past in your state and mine."

O'Malley has been a major champion of the federal health-care law, praising President Obama for having the courage to tackle the issue. The sharply worded letter to McDonnell also comes at a time when O'Malley's national profile is on the rise, partly due to his ascendancy this month to chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

"Always good talking with you, though, and I look forward to continuing our work together on many other issues," O'Malley concluded his letter.

By John Wagner  | December 17, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  Governor, John Wagner  
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Isn't O'Malley supposed to defend the rights of Marylanders? How can he support the federal government's infringement on state rights by mandating that people purchase a service in the form of health insurance? Instead of joining other governors who have boldly defended their turf and questioned the mandate's constitutionality, O'Malley says that these cases are nuisances?

There used to be three obligations of U.S. citizens: obey laws, pay taxes, and vote. Now after the passage of health care reform, "buy health insurance" would be the fourth. Does this sound right to you?

Posted by: resilientmom | December 19, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

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