Election-year ruling looms for health overhaul

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul appears headed for a Supreme Court ruling as the presidential election season is hitting full stride in the coming year.

The health care law affecting virtually every American seems sure to figure prominently in President Barack Obama's campaign for re-election. Republican contenders are already assailing it in virtually every debate and speech.

The administration on Wednesday formally appealed a ruling by the federal appeals court in Atlanta that struck down the law's core requirement that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014.

Under normal court procedures, the case could be resolved by June 2012.