Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s remarks during her nomination hearing on the Affordable Care Act:
“President Trump said he would only appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn the ACA. During last week’s hearing, Judge Barrett showed that is what she would do if confirmed to the court.
“Judge Barrett was given multiple opportunities to distance herself from her hostile comments about the ACA and demonstrate that she would follow Supreme Court precedent. She declined to do so every time.
“Instead, she tried to downplay legitimate concerns that she would be the fifth vote necessary to strike down the law, even trying to mischaracterize her own past statements such as ‘Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.’
“The Supreme Court is set to hear another challenge to the ACA just one week after the election. Despite Judge Barrett’s past opposition to the ACA and the fact that she clearly meets the president’s anti-health care litmus test, she refused to commit to recusing herself from that case if she is confirmed.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, health care for millions of Americans, including more than 130 million people with pre-existing conditions, is at risk with Judge Barrett’s nomination.
“The American people don’t want another ‘no’ vote on the court who will take away their health care. That is why we should delay this confirmation until the election is finished and the next president chosen by the voters is sworn into office.”
- 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.
- During Judge Barrett’s hearing, witnesses spoke about the threat her confirmation poses to the ACA:
- Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a family physician and CEO of the nonprofit Care Free Medical told the committee that he “share[s] the concern that any judge who opposes the ACA endangers a lifeline that my patients count on to stay healthy, and in many cases, to stay alive.”
- Stacy Staggs is a mother of twin girls with complex medical needs and disabilities spoke against Judge Barrett’s nomination as “a vote to take away healthcare” and “a vote to strike down the law that saved the lives of my daughters, and my family is but one of many.”
- 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.