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Later in the day, after the ruling was handed down, both men issued much sharper statements taking swipes at their rival’s position.

“My opponent regularly calls for a full repeal of this law, despite the positive results it’s already delivering for Virginia,” Mr. Kaine said, adding that, during Mr. Allen’s six years in the Senate, the average insurance premium for families more than doubled and over 12 million more Americans were uninsured.

Mr. Allen, meanwhile, reiterated his call for reforms like health savings accounts, allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, and allowing states more flexibility to manage their Medicaid programs.

“I believe [the law is] an infringement on individual liberty and free enterprise,” he said.