Individual health insurance coverage; resident of State not required to obtain, etc., policy. (HB10)

Introduced By

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Health insurance; Virginia Health Care Freedom Act.  Protects an individual's right and power to participate or to decline to participate in a health care system or plan. The bill prohibits any law that will infringe on an individual's right to pay for lawful medical services. The bill further prohibits the adoption of any law that imposes a penalty, tax, or fine upon an individual who declines to enter into a contract for health care coverage or to participate in a health care system or plan. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


12/07/2009Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10100949D
12/07/2009Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/15/2010Assigned C & L sub: #2
01/28/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (8-Y 2-N)
02/01/2010Impact statement from SCC (HB10)
02/04/2010Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (17-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2010Committee substitute printed 10104740D-H1
02/09/2010Read first time
02/10/2010Read second time
02/10/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10104740D-H1
02/10/2010Amendment by Delegate Marshall, R. G. agreed to
02/10/2010Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendment HB10EH1
02/10/2010Printed as engrossed 10104740D-EH1
02/11/2010Read third time and passed House (72-Y 26-N)
02/11/2010VOTE: --- PASSAGE (72-Y 26-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2010Constitutional reading dispensed
02/12/2010Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/21/2010Impact statement from SCC (HB10EH1)
03/01/2010Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
03/01/2010Committee substitute printed 10105754D-S1
03/03/2010Impact statement from SCC (HB10S1)
03/03/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/04/2010Read third time
03/04/2010Passed by for the day
03/05/2010Read third time
03/05/2010Passed by for the day
03/08/2010Read third time
03/08/2010Reading of substitute waived
03/08/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10105754D-S1
03/08/2010Reading of amendment waived
03/08/2010Amendment by Senator Petersen rejected (15-Y 25-N) (see vote tally)
03/08/2010Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB10S1
03/08/2010Passed Senate with substitute (23-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
03/09/2010Placed on Calendar
03/10/2010Senate substitute agreed to by House 10105754D-S1 (80-Y 17-N)
03/10/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (80-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
03/22/2010Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB10ER)
03/22/2010Signed by Speaker
03/24/2010Impact statement from SCC (HB10ER)
03/25/2010Signed by President
04/13/2010Governor's recommendation received by House
04/20/2010Placed on Calendar
04/21/2010House concurred in Governor's recommendation #1 (64-Y 30-N)
04/21/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (64-Y 30-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010House concurred in Governor's recommendation #2 (62-Y 34-N)
04/21/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (62-Y 34-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (32-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010Reconsideration of Governor's recommendation agreed to (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (29-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/21/2010Reenrolled bill text (HB10ER2)
04/21/2010Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/21/2010Signed by President as reenrolled
04/21/2010Enacted, Chapter 818 (effective 7/1/10)
04/21/2010G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0818)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 18 clips in all, totaling 15 minutes.


Patrick Bingham writes:

I strongly agree with this bill; however, I feel that it is asinine to create a bill that counters a federal bill, considering the federal bill supersedes a state bill. Is this bill worth the tax money spent?

Phil Chroniger writes:

Actually, Virginia may be able to have such a law if they can successfully invoke the 10th Amendment. If successful, it would throw the entire concept of government-run healthcare and it's viability into doubt.

James writes:

Im so tired of being bullied around. They want to force us to buy health insurance!! I strogly support Bob Marshall and am glad he actually reads the constitution. Everytime we turn around the federal government is mandating something else and taking our money and useing it to give away to their friends AND getting the credit for it. Im so tired of more and more laws. I have to ask permission to put a shed in my own yard that I pay high taxes on, which is a state issue but still. Im getting tired of this. We need less laws and more common sense.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Actually, Virginia may be able to have such a law if they can successfully invoke the 10th Amendment.

That's a bit like saying that Virginia can bar free expression if it can successfully overturn the First Amendment. Accurate, but it serves only to illustrate the impossibility of it.

Steve McLeod writes:

Why doesn't this principle apply to auto insurance. If I can opt out of the health insurance risk pool then I should be able to opt out of the auto insurance risk pool. What is the point of pooling risk if someone is emptying the pool?

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Actually, you can opt out of the auto insurance risk pool. Virginia law allows any driver to pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee to drive without insurance.

Clay Ramsay writes:

Waldo, you need to read the Constitution. You obviously are not familiar with the 10th Amendment. It is quite simple, all powers not specifically delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the States or to the People. In other words, it gives the States the Power to tell the Federal government to mind its own business. It DOES NOT GIVE the States the authority to rewrite any part of the Constitution, much less the bill of rights. I suspect you are quite aware of this, but present this ridiculous argument knowing that some people are ignorant enough to believe it.

Clay Ramsay writes:

The idea of the Federal Bill is require everyone to buy insurance. There in nothing in the Constitution which permits the government to require anyone to purchase any product, however, lets follow the reasoning. Let's apply it to auto insurance. Let's pool the risk by requiring everyone to buy auto insurance, whether one owns or drives a car or not. Let's require those in NYC who do not own a car help to reduce the cost of insurance for those who do. Let's require those too poor to own a car to buy insurance to help out the rest of us who must drive to work. Why stop there? Let's require Americans to purchase cars produced by the companies in which the taxpayers have an ownership interest, i.e, GM and Chrysler. Same with banks. Let's require Americans to support government financed banks.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm very, very familiar with the constitution, thank you. The Supreme Court has held repeatedly that the tenth amendment is mere decoration, and that it does nothing to limit Congress' right to regulate commerce, interstate or otherwise, the apparent limitations of the commerce clause notwithstanding. There is simply no legal precedent allowing for a state to say "federal law doesn't apply here" anymore than you could declare "in my house state law doesn't apply."

The proper venue for this sort of legislation is congress. States lack any power to do anything of this nature. The fact that you believe strongly the the opposite is true does not make it so. If you have any evidence in the form of Supreme Court cases to demonstrate the contrary, that'd be swell, but I won't hold my breath. :)

Wheres Waldo writes:

The 10th is no more "decoration" than the 1st or the 16th. Our legislators and judges can't just simply pick and chose the parts of the Constitution to ignore (unless we allow them to.)

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Actually, they can, and they do so routinely. Whenever two parts of the constitution are in conflict, as they often are, the SCOTUS winds up finding which part must be ignored (or downplayed) in favor of the other. The 10th is basically irrelevant when compared to the 1st and, well, any other amendment, really. In U.S. v. Sprague the majority of the Supreme Court wrote that the tenth amendment "added nothing" to the constitution." That's pretty plain language right there—I'm not sure they could make it much clearer.

Wishing Waldo Wrong writes:

I'm not saying there's dummies here but there are some good books out for those that are interested. "The Words We Live By" for one. "Unruly Americans" and "The Constitution for Dummies". Many people "think" they know or understand the Constitution...until they read these books. And many more. Even you know or think you know it, they are good reads.

Waldo's Brain writes:

Read the words of Virginia's ratification of the US Constitution for your clarification...

WE the Delegates of the people of Virginia, duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly, and now met in Convention, having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention, and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us, to decide thereon, DO in the name and in behalf of the people of Virginia, declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

What does that clarify?

Waldo's Brian writes:

Okay.... what about the preamble to the Bill of Rights...

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I'm not sure that you're understanding me. The Supreme Court has repeatedly considered all of these factors and repeatedly ruled that the federal government has the power to regulate commerce within and between the states. My opinion is irrelevant. The only thing that you can quote that will make any difference in this matter is a Supreme Court decision stating that the tenth amendment gives states the exclusive authority to regulate some forms of commerce within their borders, and that one of those forms encompasses health care.

Waldo's Brain writes:

Nope. The brain says that natural rights come from our Creator, not from you, not from the Supreme Court, not from an over-reaching government... and that drives Waldo crazy!

You are correct. You nor the Supreme Court can remove our natural rights to life, liberty, and property.

Waldo's Brain writes:

“[T]hough the [treaty] power is thus general and unrestricted, it is not to be so construed as to destroy the fundamental laws of the state. A power given by the Constitution cannot be construed to authorize a destruction of other powers given in the same instrument.… A treaty to change the organization of the Government, or to annihilate its sovereignty, to overturn its republican form, or to deprive it of its constitutional powers, would be void; because it would destroy what it was designed merely to fulfill, the will of the people.” (Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Story, Limitations on the Treaty-Making Power (5th ed. 1891), Commentaries on the Constitution, Section 1508.)

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The brain says that natural rights come from our Creator, not from you, not from the Supreme Court, not from an over-reaching government... and that drives Waldo crazy!

*sigh* You are, again, confusing my opinion—and your own—with the facts. Nothing about this "drives [me] crazy." (In fact, I wrote a paper in college about the importance of the tenth amendment, and about how its lack of applicability runs counter to the best interests of states and individuals.) Your quote from a book is lovely, but it is not a Supreme Court opinion; you might as well be quoting Dr. Seuss. The fact that you believe that a thing should be true does not make it true. You are both out of your league here and unwilling to extend yourself to learn about the topic at hand. That combination is doing nobody any favors—least of all you.

Waldo's Brain writes:

Let the Supreme Court come and enforce it. The people can judge for themselves. The only power the Supreme Court effectively has is when the people consent. The absurdity of their body of rulings have added up to something that the people will no longer consent to.

The brain sees the changes and they are about to happen very quickly now. Too bad Waldo does not see the paradigm shift. America is rising.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I can see that we're done here.

cindy writes:

Those with health insurance will continue to pay for those without health insurance...Thank about this, why not require people to pay something? I am tierd of subsidizing uninsured health people. I don't like paying taxes either, is Va. going to opt out and not require their citizens to pay tax? We have unisured motorist laws, we should have uninsured health care and make everyone pay something for those services we know they are or will be using. . .healthcare.

Waldo's Brain writes:

HB 10, Health Care Freedom Act, passed the full House today 72-26. With 38 liberty Democrats in the House.

Now, I can see we are done here.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

You continue to fail to understand the essential point here. If the House passes a bill into law that is without legal effect, that does not give it any more merit than when it was a bill. The House could pass a bill declaring that up is down and black is white, but that wouldn't make it true. The kernel of your belief here is that this bill will have the force of law because citizens are going to stage an insurrection against the Supreme Court. That's sheer lunacy.

Centipede writes:

Sounds like Catherine Crabill, "let's go to the bullet box, since we can't/didn't win the ballot box..." is back.

Geoff writes:


What you are failing to consider is that the composition of the Supreme Court has changed. If a case on the 10th amendment is brought to them now they may rule differently than has been ruled in the past. It is unlikely, but still possible.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

There is a class of cases that the Supreme Court will never overturn, because the disruption to the very machinery of business and politics would be so severe as to cause enormous disruption to business and governance. Eliminating federal power to regulate commerce is one of those.

There are two other important reasons why they won't change that.

The first is that the Supreme Court would, in doing so, be severely limiting their own power. Their annual docket involves a large number of cases that pertain to commerce. By eliminating federal oversight of commerce, they'd be eliminating their own oversight of commerce, and you're not liable to find many organs of government anywhere in the world that will willingly relinquish power.

The second is that the legal premise here (federal power to regulate both intrastate and interstate commerce) was rightly and logically decided, in a way that would be hugely difficult for the court to dig its way out of. The primary reason for this is that economic boundaries don't respect state lines. The Washington metro area comprises three, four, maybe five states (DC, MD, VA, WV, DE). No one state has the power to enact regulation that affects the entire economic area, and yet each state is capable of making decisions that seriously impact the entire regional economy. The point that I'm trying to make is that there's no line separating intrastate and interstate commerce. The court's attempted litmus test failed within a few decades of the founding of the nation, once it discovered that their failure to assert leadership in this arena would leave states feuding in the manner of neighboring countries, rather than cooperating like member states of a union.

It is totally reasonable to be frustrated by this arrangement at times. Sometimes the federal government does really stupid things that some of us (sometimes entire states) would like to opt out of. (NCLB is a strong example of this for me.) But both the benefit of and the peril of member a member state of a union is that sometimes you've got to suck it up and tolerate really stupid stuff coming out of Washington, because we witnessed the only alternative to that in 1861.

James writes:

Addressing a few things.

First this idea that "Shareing Risk" and compareing it to auto insurance is absurd on a few levels. Driving a auto is a choice and therfor not required for everyone. Healthcare/sickcare is also a system of where people CHOOSE to get healthcare. Ive been to emergency rooms and IVE PAID!!!! high bills but no co pays, no monthly premiums. Nobody subsidized me.

On a moral issue how can you REQUIRE ME to enter into a contract with a PRIVATE company for simply being alive? Now collecting taxes and provideing healthcare is differant. Neither of which im really interested in but id take the later one over the other. Forceing someone to enter into contract (buying insurance) is something the mafia did. You know buy our insurance (Protection) or your place might burn. Plus how can you really feel its right to go so far as to FINE them or Jail them for not entering into a contact for healthcare. Healthcare isnt a right no more then free internet is.

I feel the problem with healthcare IS the insurance companies. People pay a monthly premium (Not Cheap) and then a co-pay, after that its FREE!! or so most people think. I pay cash because I couldnt afford to get insurance. Turned out to be a good deal. I actually save money but I also take good care of myself. The doctors Im able to work out a better deal since Im paying in cash, normally about 30-40% lower rate.

marshamaines writes:

I don't have health "insurance". and have not had it since 2007. even then, only had it for a year and before that, not 10 years. WHY WOULD I NEED 'INSURANCE'? all Insurance is, is a lack of faith, and money laundering. If i give an insurance company my money for a year, and don't "use" it, can I get my money back? or the Interest that the insurance company got paid for using my money as an asset on their books? or am I better off BARTERING directly with a doctor when I need a doctor? I got a rash, I'll mow your yard for the summer if you come look at it and tell me what skin cream i need. We've become a nation of Whiny, Crybaby, "I'm entitled" white collar morons who can't even feed, clothe, or shelter ourselves without "a government" or "insurance" - HOW SICKENING.

Joe Woods writes:

This renders TRICARE illegal. Good job, general assembly. Way to not be sensationalist or anything.

Chip Woodrum writes:

This looks strangely like some of the bills introduced in the late 1950's asserting the doctrine of "interpositon."

This "doctrine" was the basis for the massive resistance to the school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education. It was pretty well discredited back then...funny how bad ideas keep on turning up.

Tim writes:

If I remember my history, didn't Virginia try to tell the federal government it was nullifying the national government's laws once before? I believe the federal government took exception to that position and over 600,000 people died as a result. The federal government built a monument on the DC side of the Memorial Bridge to the president that enforced that position. C'mon, get real. Threatening insurrection is unrealistic and nothing more than a temper tantrum. Here's the real reason for opposition to healthcare reform. The Republicans are not interested in helping the poor because they know the poor vote for Democrats. If more poor live, more votes for Democrats. Republicans are stooges for the insurance lobby, which likely laid it on the line and told the Republicans that their financial support would disappear with the adoption of the healthcare bill. Republicans are incensed they lost the majority, and especially the White House, because they believe it is their divine right, and only their devine right, to run the government. They believe Democrats are intellectually and morally inferior and unworthy to be in the majority. Noblesse oblige.

Matt writes:


You couldn't be more misguided. Republicans oppose comprehensive healthcare reform because it is financially disastrous and philosophically repugnant (namely the individual mandate, a necessity to finance Medicaid expansion and generous subsidies). The GOP does not wish ill upon the poor; instead, many conservatives accept poverty as a real problem and think voluntary charity and tax breaks for organizations administering that charity (not mandatory wage sharing) is a better solution.

As far as political parties taking advantage of minorities, you need to take a hard look at the Democrats. I have witnessed first-hand white Democrats luring impoverished blacks onto charter buses to vote Democrat, offering Newport cigarettes in exchange. Furthermore, by enabling a lifestyle of dependence, liberals ensure a subjugated base of minority and poor voters. And let's not kid ourselves as to which party feels it is morally superior. "Social justice," although a malleable and highly empty word, is the siren call of the Democrat party, not the GOP. And it's the Democrats trying to teach Republicans a lesson all the time -- Obama taught us what it means to be tolerant with his beer summit, and liberals constantly preach tolerance of all points of view. Your post, riddled with prejudices and falsehoods, reveals what an empty talking point that really is.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I have witnessed first-hand white Democrats luring impoverished blacks onto charter buses to vote Democrat, offering Newport cigarettes in exchange.

I call bullshit. Were these white Democrats also handing out fried chicken and watermelon? In what jurisdiction did you witness this crime, and what did the police investigation conclude? What's that? You didn't call the police? You witnessed large-scale voter fraud, and you did...nothing? You just waited a few years and then posted a comment on a blog? I'm not buying it.