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Senator Hutchison and 35 Senate Colleagues Challenge Obama Health Care Law

Today, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) joined 35 of her Republican colleagues in the Senate to file an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the bipartisan, multi-state challenge to the Democrats' health spending law.

"The Obama health care law is a perfect example of government regulations hamstringing our businesses with more red tape and bureaucracy," said Sen. Hutchison. "Almost two years since that bill was passed, businesses are still facing unprecedented premium increases, as high as 20 percent or more. Twenty-six states have sued the federal government, stating the federal government has overstepped and overreached its authority. I trust the Supreme Court to overturn this poorly constructed legislation in its entirety."

Since its enactment, Senate Republicans have twice submitted an amicus brief in the lower courts in support of the states and private parties that are challenging Obama's health care law in federal court. This would be the first of two amicus briefs filed by Senate Republicans in the Supreme Court case.

The following are excerpts from the amicus brief:

"If this Court holds that the mandate is indeed unconstitutional, as amici believe the Court should, the Court must then determine a solution that maintains the proper balance between the legislative and judicial branches. To do so, the Court must follow Congress' intent and evaluate whether Congress would have enacted the statute without the individual mandate. The Court cannot stray from that intent and drastically alter the law through deletion of an essential component, leaving in place a statute which the governing majority would not have chosen.

"The authors of the PPACA and its proponents believed the individual mandate was indispensable to their reform scheme... Several proponents of the law argued in committees and on the floor that the individual mandate was essential to their view of health care reform and that the legislation would not work without the mandate. More than merely a component of the insurance reforms, the majority in Congress believed that the entire health care reform effort of the PPACA was unsustainable without it.

"This Court must defer to this clear expression of Congress' intent regarding the role of the individual mandate... To maintain the Constitution's balance, this Court cannot ignore Congress' determination as to what is essential to the PPACA's scheme and leave in place a statute Congress would not-and did not-enact."

"If Congress intended for the PPACA to survive without the individual mandate, it could have protected its major legislative reform simply by including a clause which would have guided this Court and resulted in a strong presumption of severability - a clause which was already before it in a prior version of the PPACA. Congress did not do so.

"Under these circumstances, this Court cannot leave a patchwork alternative to the PPACA in place without the heart of the legislation. Rather such a determination must be left to the elected representatives of the people."

The brief was signed by:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Daniel Coats (R-IN), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. James Risch (R-ID), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA).

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