“Today’s Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell on June 28, when the high court upheld Washington’s 2010 health-care overhaul. The law, he said, will “create a costly and cumbersome system that will impair our country’s ability to recover from these challenging economic times.” It “infringes on our citizen’s liberties, will harm small businesses, and will impose dramatic unfunded mandates on Virginia and all states. Simply put, this is a blow to freedom. America needs market-based solutions that give patients more choice, not less.”
The question now is: Will he follow them up with tough action?
Under the law, Virginia must have a special insurance “exchange,” a sort of clearinghouse where people and businesses can shop for policies much as Travelocity lets them shop for travel arrangements. Virginia can set up its own exchange — at a cost of millions of dollars, and then only on Washington’s terms. Or it can let Washington create an exchange for the commonwealth.
A number of Republican governors — such as Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Texas’ Rick Perry — have opted not to shoulder Washington’s burden. Virginia could do the same. And doing so would achieve more than saving the state considerable expense. It also could help hasten the repeal of the law. Here’s how.