STAUNTON, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) today commended Judge Henry E. Hudson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for ruling that section 1501, the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate,” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is unconstitutional.
The case decided today was filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on March 23, the day that President Obama signed PPACA into law. His lawsuit claimed that it is unconstitutional for the federal government is to force Americans to buy insurance. This lawsuit was based largely on the passage of House Bill 10, commonly referred to as the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act, during the 2010 General Assembly Session. Delegate Bell co-patroned and supported House Bill 10.
“I am pleased that Judge Hudson decisively and correctly ruled that the commerce clause does not allow the United States Congress to force an individual to purchase a specific product or policy, or enforce a penalty for failure to do so.” stated Delegate Bell. “This decision is a victory for individual liberty. The individual mandate far exceeds the powers of the federal government, and this is why I supported the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act in 2010. This legislation, which passed both houses in a bipartisan fashion, gave Attorney General Cuccinelli clear justification for his law suit, and Virginians should be proud of him for taking this type of initiative. All Virginians and Americans need affordable health care, and I will continue to support this in Virginia, so long as the solutions are based on the free-market and protect the individual liberties of all citizens.”
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and the City of Staunton.