Virginia's General Assembly has become the first state legislature to approve a measure that would block any federal efforts to institute health care reform.
The legislation passed, 80-17, Wednesday in the House of Delegates, after having already made it through the Senate. The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has promised to sign it, The Associated Press
Supporters say the move preserves Virginia's sovereignty, but the legality of such legislation is under question since federal laws generally supersede those of states.
"We never gave Washington the power to force us to buy any products of any kind," Del. Charles Poindexter told Richmond's CBS News
affiliate. "Insurance is a product. They're saying I have to buy insurance."
The Assembly is controlled by Republicans but 21 of 39 Democrats backed the bill.
Thirty-four other state legislatures have filed or proposed similar measures rejecting mandated health insurance, according to the AP.