Barrett, a conservative federal appellate judge, answered questions from senators for the first time on the second day of her Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. It gave Barrett a chance to respond to Democrats who have opposed her because of her potential as a justice to undermine the 2010 healthcare law and its protection for patients with pre-existing conditions.
Barrett declined to say whether she would consider stepping aside, as Democrats have requested, from an Obamacare case due to be argued at the court a week after Election Day in which Trump and Republican-led states are seeking to invalidate the law formally called the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Barrett noted that the new case centers upon a different legal issue than two previous Supreme Court rulings that upheld Obamacare, which she had criticized. Barrett declined to say how she would approach the new case, but said, "I am not hostile to the ACA."
Barrett also said the White House did not seek her assurance that she would vote to strike down the law.
"Absolutely not. I was never asked - and if I had, that would have been a short conversation," Barrett said.