Judge Rules Parts of Health Care Reform Unconstitutional

Washington (CNN) – A federal judge in Virginia has ruled parts of the sweeping health care reform effort led by President Obama to be unconstitutional.
This is the first federal court to strike down the law, contradicting other recent rulings the law was permissible.
The key issue of contention was the "individual mandate" requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance by 2014. 

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected the government's argument that it has the power under the Constitution to require individuals to buy health insurance.

The White House says it disagrees with the judge's ruling. But white house officials say it does not create uncertainty about the implementation of the law's provisions.

"Our belief is that when all the legal wrangling is done, this is something that will be upheld," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

White House health reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said that while the Virginia judge ruled against the law, the administration is encouraged by two other federal judges who have upheld the law.

DeParle told The Associated Press that the Justice Department is reviewing Hudson's ruling. The case is expected to ultimately be decided in the Supreme Court.

Gibbs said the requirement is essential to the law's guarantee of coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. But he said the White House was not surprised by the ruling.