RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, reacting to the Supreme Court's Health Care Overhaul ruling, said "This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law. This is a dark day for American liberty."
He added, "This unprecedented decision says that Congress has the authority to force citizens to buy private goods or face fines - a power it has never had in American history."
Cuccinelli said he will "absolutely" make it his business to work for Republican candidates in the months ahead to make the so-called Obamacare go away.
"Taken in total, it's a bad policy prescription for health care. Every new week unfolds with it new rule-makings that are more oppressive and more distortive of what might otherwise be a market. We don't have a free market in health care. It makes it worse, not better," Cuccinelli added.
Cuccinelli attended the Supreme Court's arguments in the case in March. He believed the law's requirement that individuals buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional. That's a view shared by the 26 states involved in the Supreme Court case.
Cuccinelli filed a separate lawsuit against the law, but a federal judge's ruling in his favor was overturned when a federal appeals court ruled that Virginia lacked legal standing to challenge the law.
Under the law, states play a key role in delivering new health insurance coverage to millions of lower-income and middle-class people.
Many Republican-led states have resisted and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners expects only about half the states to be ready to set up new health insurance markets, slated to open for business in 2014.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) said, “Virginia will evaluate the steps necessary to comply with the law. While we have awaited this decision, planners have been working to identify necessary resources and issues to be addressed to ensure Virginia implements this flawed law in the most effective and least costly and burdensome way possible."
Democratic Senate candidate and former governor Tim Kaine is praising the ruling.
“While there is more work to do, it is worth noting what has already been accomplished under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 63,000 more young people in Virginia have health coverage, more than 800,000 Virginia seniors have received free preventive care, millions of small businesses are now eligible for tax credits, and twenty million American women have access to cancer screenings and contraception without co-pays. And we've put an end to the egregious abuses by insurance companies that denied coverage to children with preexisting conditions, charged women higher premiums for the same coverage, and dropped folks when they got sick," he said.
Republican Senate candidate and former governor George Allen countered,"Virginians and Americans would be better served by reforms that deliver on the promise of reducing costs, increasing access to quality care, and put people - not government - in control of their health care."
Virginia House Democrats say efforts will continue to provide quality health care at reasonable costs.
"One key component of this will be the creation of a Virginia Health care Marketplace (the “Exchange”). The Governor should immediately call the General Assembly into Special Session to complete the work necessary to ensure that Virginia is fully prepared to implement the Affordable Care Act by the creation of this Exchange,” said Democratic leader Delegate David J. Toscano.