FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2020
CONTACT: Kathy Melley, (617) 791-070
(BOSTON, MA) – Today, the President and Senate Republicans will begin their expedited effort to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court even with the presidential election already underway. Judge Barrett’s nomination puts at risk quality, affordable health coverage for millions of people across the nation, including millions of people with pre-existing conditions. It is well-established that Judge Barrett has a history of opposing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If confirmed, Judge Barrett could be seated on the high court in time to participate in the November 10 oral arguments on the Health Care Repeal Lawsuit (California v. Texas), which the Trump administration is backing and which could overturn the ACA in its entirety. The stakes of this nomination could not be higher with people’s access to health care, reproductive freedom, racial justice, people’s ability to control their own bodies and lives, and fundamental civil rights – all hanging in the balance.
Statement of Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding this week’s confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
“During a pandemic, to put someone on the Supreme Court who would strip health coverage from millions of people is a new low.
“There can be no mistake that Judge Barrett taking a seat on the high court poses a direct threat to the health coverage and pre-existing condition protections tens of millions of people across America rely on for their health and well-being. If a remade Trump court strikes down the ACA, the impact would be harsh and swift for people across the U.S., particularly Black and Brown people who are more likely to rely on the ACA’s Medicaid and Marketplace coverage due to unfair barriers to economic security and employer-sponsored coverage. The effects of ACA repeal would be catastrophic at any time, but ripping away people’s health care in the middle of a pandemic is beyond the pale.
“Judge Barrett’s nomination also threatens people’s freedom to make decisions about their bodies and lives, putting abortion access and LGBTQ+ rights at risk. President Trump has promised to only nominate judges who share his desire to overturn Roe v. Wade. Judge Barrett clearly meets that test, threatening people’s ability to control their own bodies and life.
“We are also deeply troubled by Judge Barrett’s past rulings on civil and LGBTQ+ rights, which raise serious questions about her commitment to equity and equal justice under the law.
“There is already abundant information to conclude that Judge Barrett out of step with what people in our country want and need in a Supreme Court justice – someone who will protect our access to health care, affirm our freedom to control our own bodies, and advance civil rights for all people.
“Community Catalyst strongly opposes the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and we urge the Senate to reject her nomination. The health, freedoms and lives of people across the nation depend on it.”
If the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA, the impact would be disastrous for people across the U.S., particularly people of color who have too long faced unfair and discriminatory barriers to health care. More than 23 million people would lose health coverage outright, including 15 million people who have gained coverage thanks to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Key protections will be stripped away from 135 million people who have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, cancer and asthma, and including people who have recently been infected with COVID-19. Important protections for people who access reproductive health services, as well as anti-discrimination protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender individuals, would be rolled back. People will no longer be able to access birth control with no co-pays.
In addition to expanding access to health coverage and strengthening consumer protections, the ACA has resulted in the largest reduction in health inequities for communities of color since the creation of Medicaid in 1965. From his first day in office, President Trump and his allies in Congress have worked to reverse those gains. But the nomination of Judge Coney Barrett to the high court poses the biggest threat yet to the law.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett has a long history of anti-ACA and anti-choice legal stances, including her openness to the argument that the ACA is unconstitutional. She has also repeatedly expressed views on reproductive rights that would take us backward in the fight to protect abortion access and contraceptive coverage.
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter@healthpolicyhub