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Va. Lawsuit Against Federal Health Care Laws Moves Forward

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By Kavitha Cardoza

A District court judge has allowed a Virginia lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the new federal health care law to move forward.

But everyone agrees it'll be a while before what the judge calls "a host of complex constitutional issues" are resolved.

At the heart of the Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli's argument, is whether the federal government can require every person to buy health insurance or face a penalty.

He believes Congress exceeded its authority under the constitution's commerce clause by mandating coverage.

"We survived the fight another day," Cuccinelli says.

This will also allow Cuccinelli to defend a new Virginia law that exempts state residents from the health insurance mandate.

The Obama administration had asked the case be dismissed.

They argue health care is unique: every person will need medical services at some point.

But Judge Henry Hudson denied that request.

And the next hearing is set for October 18th.

Professor Corrine Parver teaches at the Washington College of Law.

"This was the first volley in a skirmish. There are many layers that still have to be pursued," she says.

She says there will certainly be appeals all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, says she's confident the law is constitutional.

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