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HEADLINES: Democrats Put Health Care “Center Stage” During Day One of the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

By October 12, 2020No Comments

Day one of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings is in the books and headlines show that Senate Democrats used the spotlight to make clear what’s at stake for our health care and the consequences Americans would face in the middle of a pandemic without the protections of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Republicans are trying to install Judge Amy Coney Barrett on the court to accomplish what they couldn’t do through legislation — completely overturn the ACA. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Trump’s lawsuit, California v. Texas, one week after election day. If successful, the lawsuit would rip coverage from more than 20 million Americans and remove protections for more than 135 million Americans with a pre-existing condition. 

Leah Millis/Pool / Getty Images

NBC News: With Eye on Election, Democrats Hammer Health Care on First Day of Barrett Hearing. “Senate Democrats came to the first day of the Supreme Court hearings Monday with a singular message: Health care coverage and protections for millions of Americans are at risk if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed. Like a choir singing in unison, Democrats carried the same tune, in different vocal ranges. Each showed photos of constituents who have battled illness and stand to lose potential lifesaving treatment if the Affordable Care Act were axed, demonstrating an unusual level of harmony for a party not known for message discipline.” [NBC News, 10/12/20

New York Times: For Judiciary Committee Democrats, the Affordable Care Act Was Center Stage. “Senate Democrats have settled on their line of attack against Judge Amy Coney Barrett: Her confirmation to the Supreme Court could mean the death of the Affordable Care Act and millions of Americans stripped of their health insurance…In their opening remarks on Monday, the first day at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing, one Democrat after another invoked the health care law — and, more broadly, the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.” [New York Times, 10/12/20

Time: On Day One of Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Hearing, Democrats Focus on Health Care. “During the course of the day, every single Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee mentioned health care in their opening remarks. In a show of disciplined messaging, they honed in on fears that Barrett would overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if she were confirmed to the Supreme Court — which is set to hear a case about the constitutionality of the Obama-era health care law just one week after Election Day.” [Time, 10/12/20

Yahoo News: Barrett Nomination Hearing Begins as Democrats Focus on Health Care. “The confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett began Monday morning, with Democrats focusing on what her vote could mean for the Affordable Care Act, which is being challenged by the Trump administration and a number of Republican states in a case coming before the court this term. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee came equipped with large posters showing photos of Americans who they say would lose their health care if the Supreme Court were to overturn the ACA, also known as Obamacare. Barrett has written she disagrees with Chief Justice John Roberts’s 2012 opinion that upheld the ACA. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month, was in the majority upholding the ACA in the case eight years ago.” [Yahoo News, 10/12/20

Associated Press: Health Care is Focus as Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court Hearing Opens. “Senate Democrats branded Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett a threat to the Affordable Care Act and many Americans’ health care Monday at the start of a fast-tracked hearing that Republicans are confident will end with Barrett’s confirmation to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.” [Associated Press, 10/12/20

Washington Post: At Barrett Hearing, Harris Highlights Health Care, Ginsburg in Opening Statement. “At Barrett’s hearing, Harris echoed the health-care message of other Senate Democrats and warned that confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court would precipitate the demise of the Affordable Care Act. In her opening remarks, Harris told the story of a constituent who has benefited from the protections of the 2010 health-care law: an 11-year-old girl named Myka from Southern California, who has a congenital heart defect and has to see multiple specialists during the year. Harris argued that because Republicans have failed legislatively to repeal the increasingly popular ACA, ‘they are trying to bypass the will of the voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work.’ The justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in a high-profile Obamacare case on Nov. 10.” [Washington Post, 10/12/20]