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Virginia Politics
Posted at 06:08 PM ET, 06/29/2012

McDonnell: No special session needed for health care

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said Friday that he will not call a special session of the General Assembly to cope with the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s health-care decision.

“Based on events still to come, and ongoing changes in guidance
Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks to students attending Boy's State at Liberty University on June 22 (AP Photo/News & Daily Advance, Jill Nance)
from the federal government regarding the timeline for any state action, the governor does not believe there is a need to call a special session,’’ McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said late Friday. “To call a special session now, when there is no urgent deadline and when issues dealing with exchanges can be handled, if necessary, during a regular session of the General Assembly, would be an unnecessary usage of limited taxpayer dollars.”

States are required to set up exchanges for residents to purchase health care, but the General Assembly did not do so this year in the hopes that the Supreme Court would find the federal law unconstitutional.

Virginia originally had until Friday to apply for a grant to help pay to set up the health exchange, but Martin said the federal government has added additional deadlines for grants.

“While the constitutional questions regarding the health-care bill have been resolved by the Supreme Court, many policy issues remain,’’ Martin said.

McDonnell has said that Virginia leaders hope a new Congress and president will repeal the law that he considers a massive unfunded mandate.

“The federal government cannot provide clear guidance on the design and contents of a federal exchange, making it very difficult to conclusively determine if a state-run exchange is preferable for our citizens,’’ Martin said. “Our administration has the authority and resources to continue to work internally to ensure that the commonwealth is prepared for any actions that must be taken in the months ahead.” 

By  |  06:08 PM ET, 06/29/2012

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