Health Reform in Jeopardy

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 4:42pm

Federal judge strikes down portion of new health reform law as "unconstitutional".

A Virginia judge struck down part of President Obama's health care reform legislation Monday as unconstitutional.

While not invalidating the entire health care law, federal judge Henry Hudson took issue with one of its key provisions, ruling Congress overstepped its authority by requiring that individuals buy health insurance.

Virginia's Republican attorney general filed the challenge and applauded the ruling.

"This case is not about health insurance - it is not about health care - it's about liberty," Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said.

The White House is likely to quickly appeal.

"We're confident it is constitutional and of three courts, two have ruled in our favor," said press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The minimum coverage provision doesn't go into effect until 2014, leaving plenty of time for this and at least 20 other lawsuits to play out in the courts.

It is also playing out in a political arena with Republicans quick to praise the ruling.

"People still have the right to personal decisions, whether they buy health insurance or don't buy health insurance, they should not have it imposed on them by government," said Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.

Judge Hudson admitted a higher court will ultimately make the decision on healthcare.

Analysts say it's a blow to what is seen as the premier legislation of the Obama administration thus far.

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