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Virginia Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Federal Insurance Mandate

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By Rebecca Blatt

Virginia's Democratically-controlled state senate has approved three bills that would ban government health care mandates like the one being debated in Congress.

The bills are similar to measures introduced by conservative lawmakers in approximately 30 states. They're based on model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council, based in D.C.

Virginia Senator Frederick Quayle, who sponsored one of the bills, says it deals with a basic Constitutional issue - whether the federal government has the authority to require individuals to purchase anything. Quayle and other supporters say the federal government is stepping on states rights in trying to do so.

Opponents say the bills might adversely affect custody cases that require a parent to provide coverage for a child or sports activities that require participants to be insured. They also question whether the state has the power to block the federal government's mandate.

Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he is ready to challenge any mandate in court.

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