The AP reported "President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul hit its first major legal roadblock Monday, thrown into doubt by a federal judge's declaration that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitutional." Noting the legal battle will in all likelihood ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, the AP reported that the Judge denied the "request to strike down the law in its entirety or block it from being implemented while his ruling is appealed by the Obama administration."
The Christian Science Monitor added US District Judge Henry Hudson's "ruling stemmed from a lawsuit by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate – which is just one of a number of such suits proceeding through the US courts. Federal judges in Virginia and Michigan have already ruled the individual mandate to be constitutional."
The New York Times reported, "By the numbers, President Obama is beating opponents of his signature health care bill two to one in federal court. Of the three district court judges who have ruled on the merits of constitutional challenges to the landmark Affordable Care Act, two have sided with Mr. Obama." However, "from a political standpoint, the only case that really matters is the one Mr. Obama lost on Monday," and "Judge Henry E. Hudson's decision leaves the White House playing defense for the foreseeable future on an issue it once thought would secure Mr. Obama's legacy," providing "another rallying point for conservatives as they make the case that government is overreaching and must be reined in."
In a separate article, the New York Times reported administration officials have emphasized Monday's court decision "will not disrupt efforts to carry" out the law. "The business of writing and enforcing regulations will continue, as will plans to expand Medicaid and create competitive markets known as insurance exchanges in each state, administration officials said." According to the Times, James P. Gelfand, director of health policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said "'Until the Supreme Court makes a decision, I imagine that everyone involved in implementation, in government or the private sector, will go about their business as if the law will take full effect. The lower court ruling does not provide the kind of certainty we need to base decisions on,' Mr. Gelfand added. 'We will do what we have been doing: watch as regulations come out, and comply.'"