ATLANTA — They disagree on whether it's unconstitutional, but attorneys arguing both sides of the federal health care law told a three-judge panel in a federal appeals court on Wednesday that the so-called "individual mandate" is critical to the law's core purpose.
Attorneys for 26 states, led by Florida, and the National Federation of Independent Business, argued the provision is unconstitutional because it forces people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
Attorneys for the federal government disagree.
"We're not saying that Congress can force people to buy something," said acting solicitor general Neal Kumar Katyal, who represents the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "People are seeking this good already in untold numbers. The good of health care."
At issue is how that "good" is paid for, Katyal argued.
Read the entire story from Janet Zink here. (Photo of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi discussing the case with Fox News).