ICYMI: As Supreme Court Hearings Begin, Virginia Democrats Slam Trump’s Efforts to Take Away Health Care
Former Governor Terry McAuliffe, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, House Majority Leader Del. Charniele Herring, Del. Sam Rasoul, Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions Warn Health Care for Millions at Stake if Judge Barrett is Confirmed
As Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett began today in the U.S. Senate, Virginia Democrats slammed Trump for his broken promises and attempts to dismantle Virginians’ health care. Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, Virginia House Majority Leader Charniele Herring, Delegate Sam Rasoul, who tested positive for COVID-19 in July, and Suzy Szasz Palmer, a Richmond resident who has a pre-existing condition, discussed Trump’s latest decision to jam through a conservative Supreme Court Justice weeks before the election.
If Judge Barrett is confirmed and strikes down the ACA by siding with Trump in a lawsuit the Supreme Court is set to hear a week after the election, the health care of 3.5 million Virginians who have pre-existing conditions would be immediately at risk. The group also reminded everyone to go to IWillVote.com/VA to encourage Virginians to register before Tuesday’s deadline and make a plan to vote. You can view a recording of the conversation here.
“The Affordable Care Act is not only going to be on the ballot on November 3, but it’s going to be involved in the Supreme Court…on November 10. One week after the election, the Supreme Court is going to hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. And if it is then indeed Justice Barrett, it is a 6-3 conservative court, which will overturn the ACA as we know it…The ramifications of that, to those in this country that have pre-existing conditions it will be devastating…And if the ACA is repealed, 741,000 Virginians will lose their health care,” said former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
“[Medicaid expansion] along with so many other benefits of the ACA are on the line right now in the court case that’s being pushed by Donald Trump and the Republicans. And if they’re successful, up to 3.5 million Virginians who are living with a pre-existing condition could lose their health care entirely in the middle of a global pandemic…It says a lot about Senate Republicans’ priorities that they won’t come to the table on another COVID relief package. In the House we’ve been fighting for that for months but the Republicans in the Senate decided to hit pause, but now they’re forcing through a Supreme Court nominee so they can get rid of the ACA in the middle of a global pandemic. This is the time we need to be strengthening and expanding the ACA — not tearing it apart,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10).
“Trump has attacked the ACA from the moment he stepped into the White House, and if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, his chance of ripping health care away from millions of Americans and over 700,000 Virginians becomes a whole lot stronger…Prior to the ACA, women were frequently charged more than men for the exact same coverage. Without the protections of the ACA, we will see these horrifying instances again. If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court and decides to side with the administration, many Virginians will go without the health care they need,” said Virginia House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria).
“In mid-July myself and my family were afflicted with COVID unfortunately. It was a very scary first several days especially when you have a heaviness of the chest and a difficulty breathing…I could feel it in my lungs and my heart and elsewhere throughout my body and I still feel some of it as I move along…I wish I was alone but there are, as of this morning, about 160,000 Virginians who have tested positive for COVID…What’s going to happen to Americans and Virginians like me as we move forward…What can happen if we have an attack on the ACA? […] What we want to do is make sure we’re mindful about protecting the ACA because it’s important for people like me, and it’s also important for everyday Virginians,” said Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke).
“I have had systemic lupus for more than 50 years — long before the phrase ‘pre-existing conditions’ was ever used. Lupus is an autoimmune disease and…this puts me at risk for all infections, but complications from COVID would be dire for me….I would be uninsurable on the market without that pre-existing condition approval….The ACA was an enormous step forward in this regard, insuring so many people, really putting pre-existing conditions on the map, and really making it the center of what this country needs. Without it, it would be an incredible step backwards that we cannot make,” said Suzy Szasz Palmer, a Virginian with a pre-existing condition.