One of the Virginia House's most conservative members is seeking to insulate the commonwealth from national health care mandates, submitting the first in what could be a flurry of bills to defy the federal government next session.
Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, filed legislation -- dubbed the "Virginia Health Care Freedom Act" -- proposing to block federal requirements that would fine residents for going without health insurance. The individual mandate is included in health care overhaul legislation passed by the U.S. House, which is now under consideration by the Senate.
Marshall's legislation would also "protect an individual's right and power to participate or to decline to participate in a health care system or plan," according to the bill's summary.
"We see a threat that's coming down the road here for individual mandates that's got to be addressed," Marshall said. "This is something that state legislatures have to address. And frankly, if we don't address it, we are morally delinquent to our citizens."