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Local leaders react to health-reform law

March 22, 2010
  • "This is going to help hospitals in my district, community health clinics in my district, and that's a good thing," says Congressman Tom Perriello.
"This is going to help hospitals in my district, community health clinics in my district, and that's a good thing," says Congressman Tom Perriello.

One of our congressmen voted yes, two voted no, and as President Obama prepares to sign health care reform legislation, Virginia's attorney general is preparing to file suit.

For Democrats who supported the legislation, this was a victory of historic proportions.  For Republicans in opposition, this was a colossal disappointment.  And it's clear that Sunday's vote will not bring the controversy or the political fight to an end.

"And it's going to help families in my district. This is going to help hospitals in my district, community health clinics in my district, and that's a good thing," said Congressman Tom Perriello. 

He says he weighed the impact on working families before deciding to support the legislation.

For fellow Democrat, 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher, the equation was more complicated.  He voted no, with $450 billion in Medicare cuts and the impact on seniors his top concerns.

"And I'm very concerned that when Medicare funding is reduced by this amount, the quality of care delivered to senior citizens will be diminished," said Boucher.

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Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte called Sunday's vote a serious and somber occasion, and a failure to listen to the people.

"This was done arrogantly in defiance of what they knew was the will of the majority of the people," said Goodlatte.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he still intends to file suit as soon as the President adds his signature to health care reform.

"There's no question this is a case of the federal government overreaching its constitutional authority and one of my first obligations as attorney general is to defend the Constitution of Virginia and the United States," said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli says the state's challenge could play out in federal court before the end of the summer.  And all three of our Congressmen say they expect adjustments next year.

Whether that's an incremental change, or a dramatic turn, will depend on the result of the November elections.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Less than eight hours after Congress passed sweeping healthcare reforms, Virginia's attorney general became the first to announce a legal challenge against it.

Republican Ken Cuccinelli said early Monday that he will file a court challenge against what he and other conservatives decry as an unconstitutional overreach of federal authority.

Cuccinelli said he would file the lawsuit as soon as President Barack Obama signs the bill passed Sunday night into law.

Earlier this month, Virginia became the first state to finish legislative passage of a law that bucks any effort by President Barack Obama and an allied Democratic Congress to impose federal health care reform in the states.

Similar measures were filed or proposed in 34 other state legislatures.

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March 22, 2010

Congress clears historic health care bill

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