After Court Ruling, Virginia Health Secretary Gives Reform The Thumbs Up

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is still taking victory laps (and raising money) after posing the first successful court challenge to the new health care reform law. But just one day after the verdict came down, a state panel appointed by his own governor, Bob McDonnell found that “health reform is worth doing” and urged swift implementation of the bill, even as legal challenges against it proceed.

Buried deep within the report is a caveat about the importance of the insurance mandate, which Cuccinelli is fighting on Constitutional grounds.

“[T]he insurance reforms scheduled to go into effect in 2014 – especially guaranteed issue (insurers must sell to all comers) and modified community rating (no differential rating by health status) – would make adverse selection a much greater risk if there is no mandate or if the mandate is ineffectual,” a draft of the report reads. “Given the lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate, as well as the controversy over the weak mandate penalty if it does remain in place, the likelihood of national reform legislation changing between now and 2014 is relatively high.”

The panel is chaired by Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel, whom McDonnell appointed earlier this year. I guess that means Virginia’s official position on health care reform is that it’s an unconstitutional threat to our liberty, but if the courts don’t throw out our Quixotic court challenge, by God, we’ll take it! Sic Semper Tyrranis.

[H/T: Kaiser Health News]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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