AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage is applauding an appeals court decision to strike down the requirement in President Obama’s health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or be penalized.

In today’s ruling, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta struck down the so-called individual mandate, considered the centerpiece of the law.

The three-judge panel sided with Maine and 25 other states that had sued to block the law. But the judges didn’t go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

LePage said the ruling illustrates that the federal government’s powers are not limitless. He said it’s a step forward in “upholding our liberties” under the Constitution.