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Court weighs US power over states in health case
Supreme Court health care case tests old rule that federal funds come with strings attached
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Federal cash comes with strings.

Congress will help pay for your roads, but your state can't lower its drinking age below 21. There's federal money for colleges, but they can't discriminate against women in the classroom or on the athletic field.

Now 26 states are telling the Supreme Court that President Barack Obama's health care law has stretched that old rule too far.

They say the law's requirements for expanding Medicaid amount to coercion that violates the U.S. Constitution's division of power between the national government and the states.

No lower court has sided with the state plaintiffs, but the justices reserved time next Wednesday to hear the Medicaid issue.

Their decision could have implications far beyond health care ' on federal aid for housing, law enforcement, education and transportation.

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