SB417, passed 23-17. ">

Virginia Senate: Health insurance not mandatory

Virginia’s Senate just passed a preemptive bill preventing a health insurance mandate. The bill, SB417, passed 23-17.

Virginia’s Senate just passed a preemptive bill preventing a health insurance mandate. The bill, SB417, passed 23-17. The current split of the Senate is 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans; all Republicans voted for the bill as well as five Democrats (Edd Houck, Charles Colgan, Phil Puckett, John Miller, Roscoe Reynolds).

Here’s the text of the bill:

Individual health insurance coverage; requirement to obtain. Provides that a resident of the Commonwealth shall not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage. This applies regardless of whether the person has or is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer or a plan sponsored by the Commonwealth or the federal government. The measure also states that no provision of Title 38.2 renders a resident liable for any penalty, assessment, fee, or fine as a result of his failure to procure or obtain health insurance coverage.

This bill is in opposition to the Democrat led efforts to pass Federal healthcare/insurance legislation, part of which includes a provision for a health insurance mandate.

The corresponding House bill is HB10 and is currently waiting in the Commerce and Labor committee for voting. HB10 passed the subcommittee 8-2.


Here is the full list of votes:

YEAS — Blevins, Colgan, Hanger, Houck, Hurt, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Miller, J.C., Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Puckett, Quayle, Reynolds, Ruff, Smith, Stosch, Stuart, Vogel, Wagner, Wampler, Watkins

NAYS — Barker, Deeds, Edwards, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, Y.B., Northam, Petersen, Puller, Saslaw, Ticer, Whipple.

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Long live the Constitution.

  2. Lynne Brauning on said:

    Can the hospitals and Doctors office now send the bills to these guys? I believe they have just taken on the role as responsible party.

  3. Good luck with that. How is it that people are so shortsighted and assume that they’ll never get sick or require medical attention? When the residents of this state become unemployed and they or their spouse are injured in a way thats guaranteed to kill without medical attention will they still stand by their principles and refuse to go to the emergency room or will they go anyhow knowing that the current laws will force the people working there to help them knowing that they’ll probably never get paid as odds are if the people could have afforded insurance they would’ve already had it?

  4. Which part of the United States Constitution does this potential mandate violate? If you’re referring to the Fifth Amendment, there’s certainly just compensation for what’s being taken.

  5. Liberty! on said:

    Thank goodness for the Democrat controlled Senate passing this smart legislation… Way to go Virginia Democrats! Stand up for Liberty!!!!

  6. Montana Libertarian on said:

    MM –

    Read the 10th amendment, then note that nowhere in either the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights is medical care mentioned as a federal responsibility.

  7. The Federal Government should then say that any state that does not comply with a federal mandate for coverage can not use federal funds to cover medical costs of the uninsured.

    My sister-in-law a breast cancer survivor was told by her insurance company that she can not have another mammogram this year, yet she has a new lump forming. Lets keep the status quo — lets let insurance companies run their own “death panels”. Liberty for Profits!!

  8. akcoins on said:

    Once again the South is ahead of the curve. Whether it be Civil Rights, Unions, or Interracial marriage, they always seem to be on the wrong side of history. Before you unload on unions, thank them for your weekends, and 40 hr work week.

  9. Marry Welles on said:

    So why is it required by law to have automobile insurance? In automobile insurance a person must at least have liability insurance. Liability insurance protects the other diver who you might hit. So the Virgina legislature is not requiring an individual who might get sick and who might end up in the emergency room a free ride. While the citizen who has health insurance has to pay for this person in terms of higher health care.
    By the same logic why should I have to have automobile insurance?
    It seems the legislatures are on the take as much as I can see or are worst fools.

  10. Seems that Virginians who have insurance are happy to subsidize those who do not, and to pay higher premiums to offset all those emergency room visits by the uninsured. In that sense, Virginians are a very generous people!

  11. Let’s do something in Virginia then. Let’s get a non-profit co-op health insurance setup that is state approved and helps make health care affordable here.

  12. Jacob Kelly on said:

    I voted Obama, and I think the mandate was unconstitutional. Good for you Virginia Senate.

  13. Awesome. I’m going to dump my health insurance right now and then head out to the emergency room. I need someone to take a look at this ingrown toenail.

    Hope you enjoy paying for it, you wonderful, generous, liberty-minded strict constructionists!

  14. So, if we can decide what Federal laws to ignore, can we get out of this whole Union thing? So pesky to be part of a greater whole. I mean, this was tried back in the 1840s-1860s (Nullification –> the Civil War) and it worked great last time…back to the future, anyone?

  15. This is absurd. Health care is a moral right in my mind, and is better for the economy and the country in the long run.
    If my neighbor is sick, I feel a moral obligation to help them, and by helping them to stay healthy, it means that they can be a productive member of society (a rising tide raises all boats).

    Anyone opposing universal healthcare should never step foot in a public school, drive on a public road or call an ambulance if you are hurt. If you don’t think other people should be helped by the majority, then have the balls to stand behind your logic and not take advantage of public resources.

  16. Marry Welles, very simple, you’re not born with a driver’s license. You choose to drive, and hence all that comes with it. You don’t choose to be born.

  17. Alfonso on said:

    Chris– Are you also morally obligated to keep your neighbor from smoking, drinking, eating too much fatty foods, engaging in risky behavior, etc, etc?

  18. Chris on said:

    Alfonso – No there is no moral obligation there, because thats living life, and the riskiness is a gray area.

    Look at the two options:

    Smoker without healthcare:
    Feels bad, has trouble breathing, less productive at work, less capable to care for kids, eventually after prolonged period goes to emergency room, diagnosed with emphysema/lung cancer/etc. – repeated visits to emergency room = X dollars (government paid)

    Smoker with healthcare:
    Feels bad – goes to (cheap) primary care doctor gets told to stop smoking, given guidance on giving up smoking. Hopefully they take the advice and become a productive member of society. (outcome 1)
    If not, the care for the emphysema/lung cancer will still be cheaper than that in the emergency room. (outcome 2)

    Both outcome 1 and 2 are cheaper than X, and you have a productive member of society. This is supported by the fact that the OMB says deficits will be reduced:

    So, if its cheaper AND you give the person a higher quality of life AND you have a productive member of society, why would you not want it? It just doesn’t make sense to me…

  19. Re: 10th ammendment…
    I’m certainly no constitutional scholar, but in reading the 10th amendment and the handful of cases presented on wikipedia, i can see the constitutionality argument. however, a healthcare mandate would seem to fall under the commerce clause (Wickard v. Filburn) in that uninsured individuals have a cumulative effect on national health care costs. and i guess that’s sort of the whole point of the mandate: to drive healthcare costs down as a whole.

    in any case, congress has gotten around this for a long time just by incentivizing the states to individually mandate, say… a 21 y/o drinking age in order to receive federal highway funds (South Dakota v. Dole, 1987). it seems like a healthcare mandate could be structured similarly and tied to some relevant federal to state fund.

  20. Liberty on said:

    i think health insurance is a rip off so i dont buy any, ya pay your premium, ya get sick and they dont cover it, I’d rather keep my money. And lord knows i dont want the govt. in charge they will screw it up worse than an insurance company.

    i find insurance in general a rip off. a few windows on my house got busted out whne my house was burgalarized. The house insurance paid like $400 for the replacement windows and years insurance payment went up $400, how is this a good deal?

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