Friday, August 12, 2011

Appeals court rules out Obamacare's key requirement

Supreme Court review likely following decision

WASHINGTON — A US appeals court Friday declared the centerpiece provision of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 unconstitutional.

The Eleventh Circuit appeals court, based in Atlanta, ruled that the law's individual mandate, which requires everyone to own health insurance in America's mostly private system or pay a penalty, exceeded Congress's powers.

But the court ruled that the remainder of the health care law, which extended coverage to an extra 32 million peopled, a long-held goal of the Democratic Party, was within the bounds of the Constitution.

The ruling increased the likelihood that the US Supreme Court will be called upon to rule on whether the health reform law is constitutional, possibly as soon as next year, in the heat of a presidential election campaign.

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