Democrats, including Joe Biden, zeroed in on the risk to Americans’ health-care coverage in previewing the tactics they’ll use to oppose the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s new Supreme Court pick.
Regardless, Barrett’s confirmation seems assured given the Republican majority in the Senate. She would replace the most progressive member of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18. Barrett’s a conservative favorite who, at just 48 years old, could be expected to remain on the court for decades. Trump’s two other Supreme Court nominees are also young, at 53 and 55.
“It’s no mystery what is happening here. President Donald Trump is trying to throw out the Affordable Care Act,” Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“This is about whether or not pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered. This is about whether or not a woman can be charged more for the procedures as a man,” Biden added in his first public remarks since Trump announced Barrett’s selection on Saturday.
Senate Republicans have signaled plans for a quick confirmation process kicking off on Oct. 12, and along with Trump are optimistic that a new justice can be seated before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Democrats indicated a laser-like focus on the Affordable Care Act, and they portrayed the election as a way for their voters to help offset the court’s expected further shift to the right under Trump.
“The antidote to his — whatever he does is to vote, vote, vote,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Vote for affordable care, vote for your preexisting condition, vote for your safety, and vote for your health.”
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Nov. 10 in Texas v. California, a case that could ultimately be the means to strike down part or all of the Affordable Care Act, which has long been a Republican goal.
“It’s very clear from her writings, multiple writings, that she will be the vote that takes away health care for millions of Americans,” Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said of Barrett on “Fox News Sunday.”
Later, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer joined a handful of his colleagues in declaring that he won’t meet with Barrett, saying at his New York office that the “whole process has been illegitimate.”