Obama Admin: Healthcare Ruling Won't Stand

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Obama administration officials say they are confident an appeals court ruling on the president's healthcare plan will not stand.

It took a blow Friday when a federal appeals court ruled the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

In a divided ruling, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta sided with the 26 states that sued to block the law.

The individual mandate requires Americans to buy health insurance and the court struck it down.

"What Congress cannot do.is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for

the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die," the court ruled.

Other courts have ruled both in favor and against the law.

The Justice Department can ask the full 11th Circuit to review the panel's ruling and will also likely appeal to the Supreme Court.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, D.C., called the ruling "a criticial step forward in undoing Obamacare."

"There needs to be a pronouncement that's nationwide," said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. "It would be almost impossible to implement it if we have splintered decisions from different geographic circuits. The Supreme Court may feel now it has to take it."

J. Peter Rich, a Los Angeles-based health care attorney, said the Supreme Court had never weighed in on an issue such as the provision requiring individuals to buy health insurance.

"They have never ruled on this specific issue," he said. "This really is a case of first impression, although the Obama administration may try to argue otherwise."

Rich said it's not unconstitutional for individual states to have such requirements, noting that Massachusetts has a similar law in place. However, the high court has yet to weigh in on whether a federal requirement passes muster.

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