updated 3/10/2010 3:18:15 PM ET 2010-03-10T20:18:15

Virginia's General Assembly is the first in the nation to approve legislation that bucks federal health care reforms by banning mandatory health insurance coverage.

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Without debate, the House of Delegates voted 80-17 Wednesday to accept Senate amendments to a bill that supporters say preserves Virginia's prerogatives as a state.

Thirty-four other legislatures have filed or proposed similar measures rejecting health insurance mandates.

But Virginia's legislature, scheduled to adjourn Saturday, is the first to finish work on a bill. The measure goes to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, who plans to sign it.

The measures are advancing nationally as Republicans capitalize on voter discontent over Democratic-backed federal health care reform efforts in Congress.

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