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U.S. states petition Supreme Court for healthcare reform concern

(Xinhua)

08:37, September 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Attorneys general in 26 U.S. states on Wednesday announced they have formally petitioned the Supreme Court to take up their case to challenge a specific mandatory clause of the healthcare reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but the White House responded that the administration remains convinced the law is constitutional.

One clause of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed last year, has contained a stipulation which compels most people to have health insurance, which goes against the constitution of the country, according to the state attorneys general.

Before the petition, two state appeals courts have issued conflicting rulings over the nature of the individual mandatory clause, which has in turn increased the likelihood that the high court might weigh in. The high court, which has yet to begin its new term, could hold the ruling until the end of the term should it decide to take up the case. The decision would be released next June, months before the 2012 presidential election, with potential impact on the election.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney voiced confidence Wednesday in his daily briefing that the high court will rule in the administration's favor, saying the individual mandatory clause is "absolutely constitutional."

The Affordable Care Act, which is considered as a signature legislative achievement of the Obama administration, has irked the Republicans, especially the individual mandatory clause, which they claim unconstitutional. Leading GOP presidential candidates have all vowed to repeal the law should they become next president.

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