Thanks to Republicans, we’re in dangerous times in America right now regarding healthcare coverage – in the middle of a deadly pandemic, no less. Just this week, Trump said he hopes the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And, to make matters even worse, the Supreme Court is about to lurch even further to the right with the likely addition of Amy Coney Barrett, an ultra-conservative, activist judge who is highly likely to vote to strike down parts or all of the ACA. So basically, if you are covered under or benefit from the ACA in just about any way – if you have a preexisting condition, if you are covered under your parents’ plan up to age 26, if you are covered by expanded Medicaid, etc, etc. – you could be in deep trouble in a few months, if the Republicans get their way.
On that note, see below for vide of Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, speaking this afternoon about these very topics – the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court. As Sen. Warner said, what the Senate SHOULD be doing right now is putting together another COVID-19 relief package, not” rushing through in an unprecedented a Supreme Court nominee,” one who could very well vote to strike down the ACA by next spring. Crazy, I know, given that the ACA has provided tens of millions of Americans with healthcare coverage, more secure benefits, etc, etc. And NO, as Sen. Warner points out, it’s not possible to maintain the benefits of the ACA – such as preexisting condition protections – while getting rid of all the parts that Republicans don’t like.
Sen. Kaine talked about how Republicans are focused on ramming their Supreme Court pick through, even after they promised that they would never do that in an election year, and also after they blocked the Merrick Garland nomination in 2016. Kaine added that it hasn’t been his experience in the Senate that people make pledges and then break their word, but in this case, Republicans “are breaking their word in this instance, and you kind of have to ask why, and the reason is” Republicans have wanted to “terminate the Affordable Care Act…since the very day it passed.” Kaine said he just doesn’t understand how taking healthcare away from millions of Americans, let alone in the middle of a pandemic, could be the top priority for Republicans, calling it “heartless.” Kaine added, “I’m 62 years old, I shouldn’t be naive, but I just don’t get why taking health insurance away from millions and millions of people is such a priority” for Republicans.
How to prevent and/or deal with this disaster? Short answer: vote Democratic this election, and in all forthcoming elections for the foreseeable future. Then, if and when the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA, a Democratic Congress can hopefully fix the problem legislatively. Same thing with other issues, by the way. Remember, the legislative branch is co-equal with the judicial branch, so it’s not like the Supreme Court is all-powerful; to the contrary, a functional Congress – which we could get if Democrats are in charge – could pass a wide array of legislation that is, hopefully, Supreme Court-proof…or at least Supreme Court-resistant. But yeah, Democratic voters should have paid a LOT more attention to the courts over the years and behaved accordingly – by voting, getting involved, etc. – and not waiting for things to get this dire. Better late than never, I guess…