McDonnell, Cuccinelli request expedited health care review

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Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell inked his name between that of Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) on a letter sent today to President Barack Obama. The letter, signed by a total 28 governors, requests an expedited appellate process for a number of lawsuits filed in opposition to the federal health care reform law.

"Regardless of our respective positions on the merits of the policies in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), every state faces significant challenges and expenses implementing PPACA over the next several years," says the letter, which adds that the matter will almost certainly be decided by the nation’s highest court. "This request for expedited review takes no position on PPACA, but seeks only to obtain the Supreme Court’s final determination as soon as possible."

The letter says "businesses, health care providers, and citizens of our great nation need to know as soon as possible whether all or part of the law will be upheld or stricken, so they know their options and obligations." Also weighing options? Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who yesterday filed a 36-page writ (here, in PDF) to expedite a review of Federal Fourth District Judge Henry Hudson’s December ruling.

While Hudson ruled that the PPACA’s Minimum Essential Coverage Provision (MECP) exceeded Congress’ Commerce Clause powers, he also deemed that the MECP was severable from the rest of the PPACA. Cuccinelli’s writ asks that the measure’s severability be reconsidered, and that the appellate court combine all PPACA lawsuits.

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