Senate Republicans Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Bipartisan, Multi-State Challenge to Mandates
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are among 44 Republican Senators who this week jointly filed a legal brief in support of a multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform law enacted last year.
The Mississippi lawmakers are part of an amicus brief filed Wednesday with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of a bipartisan, multi-state legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). That law would require most Americans to purchase health insurance starting in 2014.
“I believe there are good arguments for overturning the partisan health care reform law forced through Congress. I remain unconvinced that this law will rein in health care costs, and I believe that Congress overstepped its authority by mandating that all Americans purchase health insurance,” Cochran said.
“President Obama’s health care law greatly increases the federal government’s role in our health care system and fails to low costs, which is the leading hurdle to access for most Mississippians,” said Wicker. “I strongly support the efforts of the majority of states that are challenging this law in the courts. I will continue to make repealing and replacing the health care law a top priority of mine.”
The friend of the court brief encourages the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta to uphold a lower court ruling that the individual mandate included in the law is unconstitutional. The brief asserts Congress exceeded its constitutional authority to regulate commerce by enacting the individual mandate. It also argues that Congress will have vastly broadened power to enact other mandates on individuals if the federal courts affirm the constitutionality of the insurance mandate in PPACA.
In December, a U.S. District Court judge in Florida found that the individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional. Legal challenges to the law are expected to eventually be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Both Cochran and Wicker are cosponsors of the American Liberty Restoration Act (S.19) that would repeal provisions of PPACA that require individuals to purchase health insurance. Introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah, this measure has 25 cosponsors and has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The National Federation of Independent Business and the National Retail Federation have endorsed the bill.
May 13, 2011