First Day of Confirmation Hearings Shows Health Care Is on the Line
Washington, DC — After the first day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Senate Judiciary Committee member U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and health care storytellers joined Protect Our Care to discuss what’s at stake for health care and the Affordable Care Act. As Senate Republicans continue to rush through President Trump’s anti-ACA Supreme Court nominee, Democrats used the hearing to highlight the importance of the ACA and stories of constituents who would lose health care if the law were to be overturned. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas, Trump’s lawsuit to completely dismantle the ACA, on November 10 — one week after the 2020 election. If successful, the lawsuit would strip millions of Americans of their health coverage in the middle of a global pandemic made worse by this administration’s failure to confront the crisis head-on.
“As Senate Republicans continue to rush through this illegitimate process, millions of Americans stand to lose their health care in the middle of a deadly pandemic — including the 150 million Americans with pre-existing conditions covered under the ACA,” said U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). “For millions of Americans like Michele and Nick, a future without the ACA looks like being forced to sell your house if you want to afford your health care, it looks like not having access to a doctor when you’re sick, it looks like having to choose between paying for groceries and paying for medicine. As we face the worst public health crisis in our lifetimes, it would be cruel and reckless to force so many Americans to potentially face losing their health care.”
Michele Lewris is a New Jersey resident with pre-existing conditions. After the sudden death of her husband, Lewris lost her health insurance. Without the coverage she was able to get through the marketplace, she would have had to choose between paying her health care costs and her mortgage.
“It’s really inhumane and immoral to repeal the Affordable Care Act and I’m terrified it’s going to happen,” said Lewris.
Nick Hare is a South Carolina resident with a pre-existing condition. Last year, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. During the coronavirus pandemic, he was laid off from his job with a software company and lost his health insurance. Without the protections for pre-existing conditions provided by the ACA, Nick would have to find a way to pay over $1,500 per month for needed medications.
“The idea of coverage for pre-existing conditions being eliminated is not only cost prohibitive to people but immoral,” said Hare.
“The stakes of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation couldn’t be more clear. President Trump has said he would only select nominees for the Supreme Court who oppose the Affordable Care Act, and Judge Coney Barrett is no exception” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “If Judge Coney Barrett is installed on the court, we are risking losing protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and throwing our entire health care system into chaos during the worst public health crisis in a century.”