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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET


Gretchen Gailey

Washington, DC


Lawsuit Filed Against Health Care Reform

March 23, 2010 - 6:17 PM | by: Gretchen Gailey

Virginia Solicitor General E. Duncan Getchell filed the first lawsuit against the new health care policy on the same day it was signed into law by President Obama.

Virginia is one of at least a dozen states which has suggested it will oppose the Protection and Affordable Care Act with legal action. Some believe Virginia has the most promising chance of taking on the new national health care law, since it actually has a current law in place that is in conflict with Obama’s policy.

One aspect that might boost the success of this lawsuit is that it was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is known as a “rocket docket,” because it’s one of the fastest courts to handle a case from start to finish. The average case on the docket makes it from filing to decision in eight months, which would put it on pace to fight an appeal and make it to the US Supreme Court before 2014, when most health care reform changes would take place.

In the suit, the Commonwealth of Virginia claims that section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains an individual mandate which will require a majority of Virginians after December 31, 2013 to purchase health insurance for themselves or be subject to a civil penalty. The attorney general’s office said the new federal law is in direct conflict with the Health Care Freedom Act that was just passed by Virginia a few weeks ago. In it, the Virginia law states that no resident “shall be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage.”

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