Justice Dept. Files Brief Defending Health Care Mandate

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WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is defending the health care overhaul in a new filing with the Supreme Court that calls the law an appropriate response to a "crisis in the national health care market."

The administration filed a written submission to the court Friday, focusing on a core requirement that individuals buy insurance or pay a penalty.

A federal appeals court struck down the so-called individual mandate as exceeding Congress' power under the Constitution. But the administration asks the court to uphold the requirement. It argues that Congress was well within its power to adopt that requirement.

More briefs due later this month and next will address other parts of the law that the court will consider when it hears arguments over three days in late March.