Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 23, 2013, 4:00pm

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli earlier this week called President Barack Obama's health care law "downright dishonest."

Cuccinelli, who is running for governor and vehemently opposes Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, made the comments during the GOP's weekly address.

The attorney general, the first in the nation to challenge the health care law in federal court, said Obamacare represents "one of the largest and most reckless expansions of government" in the more than 200-year history of the nation.

"During the debate over this law, citizens in the Commonwealth were told they could easily access information about their health care choices and join the system. Well, that proved to be untrue," Cuccinelli said during Sunday's address.

"They were told their premiums wouldn't increase; that proved to be false. And they were told they could keep access to their insurance and their doctors, and that proved to be downright dishonest."

The conservative attorney general, just months after taking office in January 2010, filed his own lawsuit against the law.

The law's mandate requires individuals who do not purchase health insurance to pay a yearly $695 penalty. Cuccinelli argued that the mandate clashed with the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which says Virginians are not required to purchase health insurance.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit eventually ruled that the attorney general did not have standing to challenge the law on behalf of the state of Virginia because the state wouldn't be affected by the mandate. Only individual Virginians would be, the court said in overturning a district judge's ruling.

And in its highly-anticipated ruling last June, the U.S. Supreme Court said the controversial provision is a constitutional tax.

"President Obama's ideas are deeply flawed and the implementation of this law has been a national embarrassment," Cuccinelli said during this week's address.

"Let me be plain, the law that carries the President's name is the hallmark of a reckless federal government that has lost its way."

Cuccinelli is facing Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic Party, in the state's Nov. 5 election.

To listen to the address, click here.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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