ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) - A federal appeals court has sided with 26 states in their challenge to President Barack Obama's health care reform.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled Friday that a provision of the law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or face an annual penalty is unconstitutional. The ruling affirmed an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of northern Florida.

"ObamaCare is closer to an end," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. "As we have maintained since before the law was first enacted, the individual mandate exceeds the constitutional limits on Congress' authority.

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