On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) attended a portion of the Supreme Court oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She made the following statement in advance of her visit:
"This week, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the president's health care law, it's important to remember what this debate is ultimately about - freedom. By requiring individuals to purchase a particular product - in this case, health insurance - the president has opened the door to unprecedented federal interference into Americans' personal lives. The fact that over two dozen states have challenged the law on constitutional grounds reflects profound skepticism about its overreach - as well as deep concern about the law's impact on the future role of the federal government in the private lives of citizens.
"In addition to the legitimate constitutional objections to the president's health spending law, Americans are finding plenty more to dislike about the misleadingly named 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.' Costs continue to rise, billions in new health care taxes are killing jobs, Medicare has been raided to establish a new entitlement program, and consumer choice has been eroded. The more we learn about the new law, the clearer it becomes that we need to repeal it and start over - focusing instead on common sense marketplace reforms that bring down the cost of care and expand consumer choice."
In February, Senator Ayotte joined 43 of her Republican Senate colleagues in signing an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court in support of the multi-state challenge to the federal health care law. The amicus brief states that the individual mandate included in the law is unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause. It further argues that if the Court deems the individual mandate constitutional, there would be essentially no limitation on Congress' power to regulate citizens under the Commerce Clause, all but eliminating the constitutional distinction between federal and state regulatory authority.