Virginia judge expected to rule on reform law Monday

A Virginia federal judge is expected to issue a decision on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law Monday, a court employee confirmed to The Hill late Friday afternoon.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson will decide whether the Constitution's commerce clause prevents the federal government from requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.

Hudson will issue his decision in the same week that a Florida federal court will hear oral arguments for a lawsuit backed by 20 states that also challenges the commerce clause.

However Hudson rules on Monday, he acknowledged in October that it will not mark the end for the legal challenge.

"As you well know, this is only one brief stop on the way to the United States Supreme Court," Hudson said during oral arguments.

The Obama administration argues that healthcare is different from other commercial markets, because — illness being both inevitable and involuntary — everyone ultimately requires some form of care.