A federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the nation's sweeping health care overhaul is unconstitutional, the most significant legal setback so far for President Obama's signature domestic initiative.
President Obama's health care law--a cornerstone of the White House's legislative agenda--has suffered a major legal setback after a federal district judge in Virginia ruled Monday that requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 is unconstitutional. Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Bush appointee, concluded that the so-called "individual mandate," requiring individuals to purchase health insurance, exceeds Congress's authority to regulate commerce.
The ruling will not interfere with the implementation of the law but is likely to "create confusion among the public and further destabilize political support for legislation that is under fierce attack from Republicans in Congress and in many statehouses," The New York Times reports. The judge indicated that his ruling applies only to the individual mandate and related provisions of the law.
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