BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a key provision in the federal health care law.

The high court is expected to hear arguments this year on the constitutionality of a requirement in the 2010 law that individuals must buy health insurance if they can afford to or pay a penalty.

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Coakley argues in the brief filed Friday that a similar provision in Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation health care law has been highly successful. She says 98 percent of state residents now have health coverage, the highest percentage in the country, and the cost of providing free care to the uninsured has dropped by $235 million per year.

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The attorney general says the 2006 Massachusetts law served as a “blueprint” for the federal law

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