McDonnell: Health care overhaul to cost Virginia $1 billion over 12 years
According to Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), new state estimates show the federal health care overhaul will cost Virginia almost a $1 billion more in Medicaid spending over a 12 year period begining in 2014.
McDonnell said Monday afternoon that he has "a number of" concerns about the measure's financing and costs. Meeting with reporters after an event at the state capitol to unveil of bust of Revolutionary War-era general Andrew Lewis, McDonnell said he has reviewed the pleadings that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli plans to file in federal court Tuesday and said he believes the case is "meritorious."
"I think there's obviously some concern among our citizens and among governors and among people across the country about the breadth and scope of this health care reform," he said. ""It's an unfunded, long-term mandate on our Medicaid program."
Just over a week ago, Virginia enacted the nation's first law making it illegal for government to require citizens to purchase health care. (McDonnell will hold a bill signing for the measure on Wednesday, but that's only ceremonial. The bill was in effect enacted when the General Assembly accepted tweaks he had recommended to the measure on March 10. It officially goes into effect on July 1.)
That law, McDonnell said, puts Virginia in a "unique position" to argue its case in court.
"The pleadings say we don't believe the federal government has the right to tell the citizens of Virginia that they must purchase a good or a service, in this case, health insurance, particularly when we have a statute that we just passed that you cannot mandate that. No one can mandate that on the citizens of Virginia," he said.
UPDATE: Across the Potomac, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, said Monday evening that the health care legislation could save his state $1 billion over the next decade.
March 22, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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