The White House says it disagrees with a Virginia judge’s ruling declaring a key provision of President Barack Obama’s health care law unconstitutional. But 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 that have upheld the law.
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, a provision that was set to take effect in 2014.
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.
The provision in the legal crosshairs does not take effect until 2014.