Peace Bills included in Conservative Caucus Agenda

House Bills 720 and 722 provide state-based solutions to health care.Legislation would introduce greater competition and flexibility as well as provide freedom from federal health care mandates.

Central, VA - The Virginia Conservative Caucus, a group comprised of conservative legislators from the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates, held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce their legislative agenda for the 2010 General Assembly session. Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) joined Caucus co-chairs Delegate Ben Cline and Senator Mark Obenshain to outline their position on priority legislation introduced this session. The agenda, which currently includes 53 pieces of legislation, focuses on three main goals: "Encouraging Job Creation, Progress & Opportunity", "Strengthening & Protecting Families", and "Limiting Government & Defending Freedom."

The agenda includes two of Del. Peace's bills relating to health care insurance, free market enterprise, and the protection of consumer choice. House Bill 720 is a measure to authorize health insurers licensed to sell health benefits plans in any other state to sell health benefits plans to residents of the Commonwealth if the out of state health insurer offers the same plans in its state, is in compliance with the laws of that state, obtains a certificate of authority to do business in the Commonwealth, and participates in the Virginia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association. This measure promotes the consumer's freedom of choice in health care providers and encourages competition in the health care market resulting in greater efficiency and lower costs.

House Bill 722 provides that a resident of the Commonwealth shall not be required to obtain or maintain a policy of individual health insurance coverage. This would apply regardless of whether the person is eligible for health insurance coverage under any policy or program provided by or through his employer or a plan sponsored by the Commonwealth or the federal government. Passage of this bill would prohibit individual mandates that penalize citizens and businesses for failing to purchase health insurance, and would protect citizens' basic Constitutional rights.

"With Congress considering legislation to require individuals to buy health insurance, my bills would preserve the citizens' right to make their own choices in relation to health care insurance," asserted Peace. "Improving the quality and cost of health care, fostering competition among health care providers, and increasing consumer choice will serve to lower costs and increase positive outcomes for patients."

Legislation included in the Caucus' agenda ranges from economic legislation that lowers taxes for businesses that create jobs, to criminal and social legislation that provides harsher penalties for crimes against children and stronger protections for the life of a newborn. It also includes opposition to tax increases, such as a measure to reinstate the Death Tax, and legislation that attempts to overturn the 2007 marriage amendment to Virginia's Constitution.

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his third term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The 97th District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County.