Goodlatte Talks Health Care Following Historic Vote

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Following the passage of the historic health care bill, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) was in Shenandoah County talking to community leaders about the bill's impacts.

Some people, like Karen Herman, want to know where the legal challenges over the bill go from here. Virginia Atty Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) is preparing to file a lawsuit against the federal government, calling the bill unconstitutional. He says he will file that suit soon after President Barack Obama (D) signs the health care bill into law.

Herman says, "What I want to know is, do the states really have a chance in going to the courts?"

Suzanne Curran says she was against the bill but does support provisions extending coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

"There's no question about that," says Curran. "But, we need to get rid of this commerce/trade thing will all these limits and let all the insurance companies compete against each other."

Phone calls keep coming to Goodlatte's office.

Before, some callers wanted to influence the outcome of the vote.

Now, come many more questions about what the bill means to the average person. Goodlatte says his office has taken tens of thousands of calls regarding the health care bill in the last year.

"What the Congress needs to be focusing on is out-of-control government spending. And, the health care bill that was passed yesterday only adds to that problem," says Goodlatte.

But, he says the bill is not totally problematic.

He disagrees with the phrasing, but he says he supports the basic idea of insurance exchanges. That's where certain groups of people can come together and buy coverage at lower costs.

"They should be able to go into large pools...and get more competitive rates, deal with the pre-existing condition issue. That would be a good thing," says Goodlatte.

Being an election year, Republicans and Democrats look forward to November.

Goodlatte doesn't say he sees health care itself being the central issue. But, he sees it as being a key part of the debate over the federal government's size.

"I think it's very possible that Republicans could win back majorities in both the House and the Senate. But that's by no means a given. And, we have a lot of work to do to carry our message back to the people," says Goodlatte.

Goodlatte also commented Monday about Cuccinelli's plan to file suit against the government. Goodlatte says whether Congress even had the right to pass the health care bill is something that should be "examined very,very closely."