Democrats Distort And Distract On Health Care

Senate Democrats ‘Can’t Attack Her On Her Qualifications’ So They Have Spent Two Days Trying To Distort Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Record And Distract From Their Refusal To Compromise On COVID Relief For Americans


Judge Amy Coney Barrett: ‘I Have No Hostility To The ACA Or Any Other Law And I Will Faithfully Apply The Law’

JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT: “[W]hat I said in that article, which was a book review of someone else’s book, was that the statutory interpretation, as I said earlier, as Chief Justice Roberts’ own opinion said, was the less natural reading of the mandate, construing it as a tax, rather than a penalty, that the statutory interpretation seemed, as you said, stretched beyond its plausible meaning. But NFIB v. Sebelius turned on the constitutional question, that was the statutory interpretation was the threshold question. And the constitutional question was not something that I ever opined on…. The case that’s coming down the pike in a few weeks, California v. Texas, I wouldn’t say that they’re fighting words from the article that you read from me because the California v. Texas case involves a very different issue, this issue of severability, and for those to be fighting words, I think you would have to assume that my critique of the reasoning reflects a hostility to the act that would cause me to approach a case involving the ACA with hostility and looking for a way to take it down, to deprive people of their coverage under the ACA because I didn’t like it, but I can promise you that that is not my view, it’s not my approach to the law. I have no hostility to the ACA or any other law and I will faithfully apply the law and nothing that I’ve said with respect to the ACA in print, in my law review articles, actually bears on the severability questions, so it’s not indicative of how I might approach that question.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/13/2020)


During A Moot Court Exercise, Judge Barrett ‘Voted To Say That [The Obamacare Individual Mandate] Was Unconstitutional But Severable’ And ‘None Of The Judges Ruled … To Strike Down The [Obamacare] Law’

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID): “So did you participate in a moot court case on this [Texas v. California Obamacare case] …?”
JUDGE BARRETT: “I did…. William and Mary Law School has every year what it calls its Supreme Court preview and it includes a moot court case.”

SEN. CRAPO: “And so what did the court—the moot court—decide?”
JUDGE BARRETT: “Well, I do want to preface this Senator Crapo, by saying it was an educational exercise…. So it was made very clear to the audience both at the outset and then in the deliberation room and then outside that … it was not designed to reflect the actual views of any of the participants and nor could it … The vote was … the majority said that the [Obamacare individual] mandate was now a penalty and was unconstitutional but severable. I think there was also a group in a minority who said there was no standing [to bring the case against the law].”
SEN. CRAPO: “And how did you vote?”
JUDGE BARRETT: “I voted to say that [the Obamacare individual mandate] was unconstitutional but severable.”
SEN. CRAPO: “… I'll just say to the viewers the one clue we have is you're really in this moot court case. And I think that's kind of an answer frankly to a lot of those who are raising this specter that you are going to try to take the whole Affordable Care Act away from everyone because of this very narrow case that is in front of the Supreme Court.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 10/13/2020)

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, has already weighed in on one of the most significant and controversial cases it is scheduled to consider this fall — albeit in a mock exercise. And, contrary to what many Democrats fear, her position on the moot court that considered the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, went mostly against the Trump administration’s stance.” (“Trump Supreme Court Pick Already Ruled On Pending Obamacare Case — In A Moot Exercise,” The Los Angeles Times, 10/01/2020)

  • None of the judges ruled in favor of the administration and Republican states’ request to strike down the law. Five of the judges ruled that one part of the law — the so-called individual mandate, which Congress has already effectively nullified — was unconstitutional, but that the rest of the healthcare law could stay in place. The other three judges would have thrown out the case, arguing that the conservative states challenging the law did not have standing to bring the suit. It’s not known which side Barrett was on because the participants’ votes were not revealed, according to a person who viewed the session and declined to be identified.” (“Trump Supreme Court Pick Already Ruled On Pending Obamacare Case — In A Moot Exercise,” The Los Angeles Times, 10/01/2020)


Republican Senators: ‘They Can’t Attack Her On Her Qualifications,’ ‘It Really Felt Like We Were In A Hearing That Was About The Technical Minutiae About … Obamacare,’ ‘Preexisting Condition Coverage Is Not Going To Be Taken Away And [Democrats] Know That’

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “Well you heard from the other side, that it’s all about health insurance, and this doesn’t have anything to do with health insurance. This is all about getting a qualified person, very highly qualified person, on the Supreme Court. So from the other side you heard everything that distorts and distracts.” (Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria,” 10/13/2020)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “Well, yesterday, my Democratic colleagues, you’ll not be surprised to learn, made a number of evidence-free accusations…. They’re very well-versed in the stuff they make up, and they made up a lot yesterday. And to hear of yesterday that Judge Barrett is on a mission from God to single-handedly deny health insurance to all Americans. And that’s preposterous and, you know, put down the bong. Americans don’t believe that…. I think most Americans see right through this. What they see is a very accomplished jurist and that’s why my Democratic friends are doing all this. They can’t attack her on her qualifications.” (Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” 10/13/2020)

SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “And they spent a good bit of their time yesterday talking about this because there is a case that will come before the [Supreme] Court on November 10th. So they would lead up to it by saying that the nomination of and confirmation of Judge Barrett frightens people, it scares people, it terrifies people because they may lose their health care. The problem is people are not going to lose their health care. Preexisting condition coverage is not going to be taken away and they know that.” (Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” 10/13/2020)

SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “I also sit on the Senate Finance Committee, and sometimes today it really felt like we were in a hearing that was about the technical minutiae about how the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—works. And [Democrats] were asking all these policy and outcome-based topics and framing them up for their questions … Again that’s not appropriate. What we should be talking about is her temperament, her character, her judicial philosophy, does she know what the job of a judge is. This isn’t Republican versus Democrat stuff. It’s American stuff.” (Fox News’ “Fox News @ Night,” 10/13/2020)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “[A]s I saw in the hearings yesterday, though … I thought I’d stumbled into a hearing of the Senate Health Committee, not the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Democrats kept talking about Obamacare and pre-existing conditions, as if the Supreme Court’s job is to make health care policy. It’s not their job. It’s the job of Congress and the president. One reason that they’re focusing on that is they want to cover up the continued failures of Obamacare and higher premiums or what the individual mandate did to tax families who couldn’t afford Obamacare…. And, of course, when you hear them talk about pre-existing conditions, one thing that they try to gloss over is the fact that we also have a plan to cover pre-existing conditions…. But those are questions for us in the Congress and the president. That’s not what the Supreme Court does. And I would suggest that Judge Barrett simply tell those senators today that you’re responsible for health care policy, not the Supreme Court.” (Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” 10/13/2020)


Reminder: A Month Ago, Every Present Senate Democrat Voted To Block Moving Forward On A Targeted COVID Relief Bill That Included Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

46 Democrats voted to block Senate action on the relief bill. (S.178, Roll Call Vote #168: Motion Rejected: R: 52-1; D: 0-44; I: 0-2, 9/10/2020)

The Hill: “Senate Democrats block GOP relief bill” (“Senate Democrats Block GOP Relief Bill,” The Hill, 9/10/2020)



Related Issues: COVID-19, Supreme Court, Obamacare, Senate Democrats