September 21, 2020/Media, Press

Health Care, Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions “In Greater Jeopardy” as Tillis Rushes to Rubber Stamp Trump on SCOTUS

Tillis promises to rubber stamp Trump’s lifetime SCOTUS pick before they’re announced and without hearing their positions on health care as the ACA goes before SCOTUS

North Carolinians’ health care is “in greater jeopardy” and vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions “may be doomed” thanks to Senator Tillis’ promise to rubber stamp President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court before they’re even announced.

Just one week after the election, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Republican lawsuit to end protections for pre-existing conditions. Senator Tillis has already expressed his support for the Republican lawsuit, saying, “I support anything that ultimately takes [the ACA] off the table.

Now, Senator Tillis has confirmed he will rubber stamp the President’s nominee for a lifetime appointment — before the nominee is even announced — without meeting them or asking their position on the health care law that millions of North Carolinians rely on for coverage protections. The Tillis-backed lawsuit would not only end these vital protections but would also eliminate North Carolina’s ability to expand Medicaid, which Senator Tillis blocked as Speaker and has bragged about since.

“The future of our health care is on the ballot this November, and Senator Tillis has already made his position crystal clear,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis’ rush to rubber stamp a nominee without ever meeting them or hearing their positions on the future of North Carolinians’ health care shows once again that Tillis is a spineless, weak politician who falls in line with his party bosses and whom North Carolinians can’t trust to be an independent voice for our state.”

Washington Post: How Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death could jeopardize the Affordable Care Act
By Amy Goldstein
September 19, 2020

Key Points:

  • The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg injects fresh uncertainty into the future of the Affordable Care Act, as the Supreme Court prepares to consider anew the constitutionality of the law that has reshaped the United States’ health-care system in the past decade.
  • “Ginsburg’s death is the nightmare scenario for the Affordable Care Act,” said Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor who supports the law. “If the suit had a trivial chance of success yesterday, it has a new lease on life.”
  • The ACA has been in peril in the courts and from President Trump and congressional Republicans since it was adopted by a Democratic president in 2010, becoming Barack Obama’s main domestic policy achievement. The newest legal challenge comes as polls were showing health care was a dominant issue in the November elections, even before the coronaviruspandemic removed millions of Americans’ jobs and health insurance and elevated people’s worries about whether they would have coverage if they got sick.
  • On Saturday, scholars said they regarded the law’s survival chances as dampened with Ginsburg’s death. Assuming the court’s remaining three liberals vote to uphold it, they now would need to find two justices to join them — one more than if the late justice were alive to participate, said Timothy S. Jost, a retired law professor at Washington and Lee University.

Axios: ACA in greater jeopardy 
By Sam Baker
September 21, 2020

Key Points:

  • The Supreme Court vacancy created by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death leaves the Affordable Care Act in much greater jeopardy than it was just a few days ago.
  • Where it stands: If Trump is able to replace Ginsburg with a stalwart conservative, the risk to the ACA’s core provisions will grow significantly.
  • The court is slated to hear oral arguments the week after the election. If there’s a new conservative justice on the bench by then, the ACA would be in immediate danger.
  • In the absence of a new justice, the court could easily deadlock 4-4. That would leave in place the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, which said the individual mandate is unconstitutional but didn’t decide how much of the rest of the law to strike down along with it.
  • In that event, the case would likely have to work its way back through the process, and perhaps back up to a full-strength Supreme Court. But if the new justice is hostile to the ACA, the threat remains. It’d just be a question of timing.
  • The bottom line: A lawsuit that once seemed like a long shot now has a much more reasonable chance at success — and that means 20 million people’s health coverage really could be in the balance.