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11th Circuit strikes portion of health-care reform law

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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled on a challenge to the federal health-care law filed by numerous states, including Indiana, and found the federal mandate that individuals have to purchase health insurance or face a penalty to be unconstitutional.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has argued that forcing people to buy insurance exceeded the limited authority of the federal government. In a statement released Aug. 12 by his office, he said the ruling brings the case one step closer to the United States Supreme Court.

The case that originated in federal court in Florida involves 26 states, two private individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business as plaintiffs. The lower court also had ruled the individual mandate part of the law was unconstitutional.

This decision is opposite to what the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found in a separate challenge to the law. That court ruled the requirement that people must have insurance or face a penalty is constitutional. There is another challenge to the law before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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