Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, with 32 other governors and governors-elect around the country, has signed off on a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders pleading for relief on mandates associated with the federal health care overhaul.           

The governors are asking that the government remove "maintenance of effort requirements" in the new federal health care law and the earlier economic stimuls package, that they say prevent states from effectively managing their own health care programs.

Requirements that would affect Virginia include expanding the availability of Medicaid and forcing the state to lift its freeze on long-term care waivers. The requirements forced Virginia to add almost $460 million to its budget and have hindered the state’s ability to direct resources to its neediest citizens, according to the letter.