Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation that aims to thwart any federal requirement that individuals buy health insurance.
Va. moves to block Obama's insurance mandate
At least 29 statehouses are considering similar so-called Health Care Freedom Acts, but Virginia is the first to approve the bill. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, is expected to sign it.
The state House of Delegates passed the bill in an 80-17 vote. The Senate previously passed the bill in a vote of 23-17.
The bill states that “no law shall impose a penalty, tax or fine upon an individual who declines to contract for healthcare coverage or to participate in a healthcare system or plan.”
President Barack Obama is proposing requiring individuals to carry health insurance or pay a fine, a mandate approved by the House and Senate late last year as part of broader health reform. Health insurers have said that without this requirement, premiums will continue to rise because people would only purchase coverage after they fall ill.
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