September 30, 2020

Feinstein: Judge Barrett Could be Deciding Vote to Deny Health Care to Millions

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s record on the Affordable Care Act:

“President Trump has said he will only appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn the Affordable Care Act. There should be no doubt that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will do just that.

“After failing more than 70 times to repeal the ACA in Congress, Republicans now want to rush Judge Barrett’s confirmation so she can help strike down the ACA in the Supreme Court. What the President and congressional Republicans have failed to do legislatively, they will try to do through the courts.

“In the midst of a global pandemic that has already claimed more than 200,000 American lives, Republicans are focused on confirming a justice who would take health insurance away from millions and end protections for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

“That is why Congress shouldn’t consider a nominee until after the next president is sworn in. The American people should be allowed to determine if they want a justice who will protect health care or strip it away from millions during a global pandemic.”

Background:

  • The majority of Americans (53-38 percent) do not want the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Even more support specific provisions such as prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (72 percent).

  • The majority of Americans (57-38 percent) want this Supreme Court vacancy filled by the next president, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.

  • Before her appointment to the 7th Circuit, Judge Barrett criticized the Supreme Court’s opinions upholding the ACA.

    • “Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute,” Barrett said in 2012 when arguing that the decision in NFIB v. Sebelius was wrongly decided.

    • Barrett said that the dissent in the 2015 decision King v. Burwell had “the better of the legal argument.” Under Barrett’s interpretation of the case, 6.4 million Americans could have lost their health insurance if the state exchanges were declared ineligible for federal subsidies.

    • On November 10, 2020, the Supreme Court will hear a new challenge to the ACA, Texas v. California. If confirmed, Judge Barrett could be the deciding vote in the lawsuit supported by the Trump administration and Senate Republicans to strike down the ACA and eliminate health care for millions of Americans.
###