Letter: Amy Coney Barrett is unhealthy choice for our country
On Nov. 10, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, two consolidated ACA cases asking whether the law’s requirement that virtually every American obtain health insurance is constitutional and, if not, whether the rest of the law can remain standing.
The confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who called the 2012 Supreme Court ruling in favor of the ACA “illegitimate” will ensure its defeat; a blow to 23 million Americans who are currently insured because of the ACA and 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions protected because of the ACA.
The ACA is imperfect, and legislation should seek to improve its weaknesses. However, providing access to health insurance improves the mortality and morbidity in our country and guarantees those who need health insurance can actually get it. The ACA creates essential health benefits, including protections for pre-existing conditions, ensuring that your health insurance actually covers you when you get sick or go to the doctor.
While no one knows how a judge will rule once on the Supreme Court, Barrett’s views on contentious issues like Obamacare, abortion and LGBTQ rights are well-documented and lean decidedly against majorities of the voting public.
According to a July 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation study, 57% of the public said they disapproved of the Trump Administration asking the Supreme Court to overturn the ACA, and 53% said they did not want to see the law overturned. There are stark partisan differences on both of these questions; however, overall, the country does not support overturning the ACA.
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While we are talking numbers, 59% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, and seven in 10 say that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. And polling done by the Public Religion Research Institute in 2019 shows 69% of Americans support “broad nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals.”
A Supreme Court justice is a lifelong appointment. The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett will dramatically swing the court to the right and negatively impact health care and civil rights legislation for decades to come. A 6-3 court will fundamentally change the country in a way most Americans oppose.
Amy Coney Barrett is the perfect nominee for Trump’s base, but she is not the right choice for the health and wellbeing of our country as a whole.
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: