February 13, 2012

Crapo, Risch Challenge Insurance Mandate

43 Republicans Submit Amicus Brief on Behalf of the Supreme Court Challenge Filed by States and Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined 41 of their colleagues in filing an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court today challenging the presidents' health care law, an unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of the federal government into the daily lives of Americans.

"Instead of giving the government more power over health care, individual patients must be given more control, choice and information to make their health care decisions," Crapo and Risch said.  "A one-size-fits-all government approach to health care would not only eliminate these freedoms, but would also result in decreased quality of care, choice and access."

The following are excerpts from the amicus brief:

"Put simply, Congress acted without constitutional authority in enacting the Individual Mandate of the PPACA.  In so doing, it has damaged Congress' institutional legitimacy and has triggered severe conflicts between state and federal governments that the Constitution was carefully designed to avert."

"Because the Individual Mandate regulates a simple decision or choice not to purchase a particular product, it exceeds the proper scope of the Commerce Clause."

"If Congress may punish a decision to refrain from engaging in a private activity (namely, the purchase of health insurance) because the consequences of not engaging in it, in the aggregate, could substantially affect interstate commerce, then the Congress can require the purchase of virtually anything.  For example, this same rationale would allow Congress to punish individuals for not purchasing a host of health-related products, such as vitamin supplements, the use of which could lower aggregate health costs.  Indeed, it is hard to imagine any private decision not to purchase a particular good or service that does not have some economic impact when aggregated among millions of people.  Under that rationale, the government could mandate any commercial activity."

The brief was signed by:

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), 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. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen.  Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), 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. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), 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), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).