Gov't defends core of health care overhaul

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the heart of the health care overhaul, the requirement that individuals buy insurance or pay a penalty.

The administration filed a written submission with the court Friday defending the 2010 law as an appropriate response to a "crisis in the national health care market."

The justices will hear arguments in the high court's biggest case this term over three days in late March. The outcome, expected in late June, has the potential to affect President Barack Obama's bid for re-election.

One federal appeals court struck down the so-called individual mandate as exceeding Congress' power under the Constitution. But two other federal appeals courts upheld the law.