Schumer Floor Remarks On Tomorrow’s Senate Vote To Protect The Health Of Millions Of Americans From President Trump’s Threat To “Terminate” The Healthcare Law Through The Supreme Court

September 30, 2020

Washington, D.C. — Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding President Trump’s threat to terminate the Affordable Care Act through the Supreme Court and discussed the Senate vote on whether to debate a bill to protect the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions and reject President Trump’s lawsuit that would eliminate the healthcare law. Yesterday, Senator Schumer successfully forced the Senate vote for tomorrow. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

It is for this president that Senate Republicans are now rushing through a Supreme Court nominee merely days before a national election. A Republican majority that once argued the American people should be given a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice is planning to confirm a nominee in the middle of an election that is already underway.

You could not design a scenario that would more fully expose the Republican’s double standard than this one.

Of greater concern to the American people is how the rush by Senate Republicans to confirm this nominee will put their health care at risk.

Now, yesterday, the Republican leader actually mocked the idea that a far-right Supreme Court majority might strike down the ACA and that Judge Barrett’s judicial philosophy might play a part in that.

“What a joke,” Senator McConnell said, that a Justice Barrett might pose any risk to Americans’ health care.

I guess Judge Barrett must have been joking when she publicly criticized Justice Roberts for upholding the Affordable Care Act.

It must have been with a sarcastic flick of the pen when she wrote that the Supreme Court would “have had to invalidate” the law if it read the statute the way she does.

I’ll tell you what. This is not a joke to the American people. This is not a joke to the twenty million Americans who could lose their health insurance if the ACA is struck down.

Not a joke to the parent of a child who has cancer—who would have to watch, helpless, as their child suffers—if protections for pre-existing conditions are struck down.

Not a joke to millions of Americans on Medicare whose drug prices would soar. Not a joke to women across the country who could once again be charged more for insurance than men, denied maternity care and free access to birth control.

The only joke here is the Republican leader’s desperate attempt to pretend that his president, his party, and their Supreme Court nominee pose no threat to our nation’s health care law, the same Senate Leader who did everything he could on the floor of this Senate to repeal the ACA.

Now, President Trump said he will pick Supreme Court nominees who will “terminate” the Affordable Care Act. His administration is in court, right now, suing to eliminate it. Senate Republicans tried to repeal the law and replace it with nothing. The Republican lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act will be heard by the Supreme Court the week after the election. There’s a reason that Republicans are scrambling to fill this seat so quickly.

And Judge Barrett, when the ACA was challenged in major litigation twice before, twice sided against the law.

So If the Republican Leader believes that Democrats are raising unfounded fears about health care, will he urge the plaintiffs to drop their lawsuit against the ACA?

Will Leader McConnell urge the Justice Department not to spend taxpayer dollars trying to eliminate the taxpayers’ healthcare?

Normally those questions would be rhetorical, but yesterday, I filed a procedural motion that will set up a vote on a bill that will protect the healthcare of hundreds of millions of Americans and prevent efforts by the Department of Justice, President Trump’s Department of Justice, to advocate that courts strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Leader McConnell and all of the Republicans will have to vote on that shortly.

Let me repeat: Leader McConnell and all of my Republican colleagues will have to vote very soon on whether the Senate should consider a bill to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

And with that vote, we’ll see just how much of a joke it is that Senate Republicans, and their Supreme Court nominees, want to eliminate Americans’ health care. 

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