The House of Representatives Tuesday defeated a Republican-backed effort to repeal the mandate that persons purchase health insurance.
The coverage requirement is a part of the new health care reform law, passed earlier this year.
The effort lost 230 to 187.
Twenty-one Democrats crossed party lines to side with Republicans on the issue. Only one Republican voted against the repeal: Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA).
Republicans argued that the federal government shouldn't compel citizens to purchase a product.
Some 20 states have filed a lawsuit claiming the mandate is unconstitutional.