PHOENIX — With Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination hearings underway, health care coverage hangs in the balance for millions of Americans, including 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions.
The Trump administration is in court right now seeking to strike down the ACA, and the case will be heard by the Supreme Court just one week after Election Day. If Trump and Senate Republicans succeed in jamming through this Supreme Court appointment, that Justice will cast the deciding vote to overturn the ACA.
That means nearly 363,000 Arizonans could lose their health care coverage in the middle of the pandemic — right when they need coverage the most. To make matters worse, if their lawsuit succeeds, complications from COVID-19 — including heart damage, lung scarring, and other respiratory effects — could become the next deniable pre-existing condition for more than 225,000 Arizonans who have contracted the virus.
This threat to the ACA comes as Trump has overseen a rise in uninsured Arizonans for three consecutive years. New data from the Census Bureau shows that “the number of Arizonans without health insurance jumped to more than 800,000 last year, the third consecutive year of increases for the state.”
Speaking during the hearing how “[Republicans’] priorities are not the American people’s priorities,” Senator Kamala Harris said, “Republicans finally realized the ACA is too popular to repeal in Congress, so now they are trying to bypass the will of voters and have the Supreme Court do their dirty work.”
In response, Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson Tyler Cherry released the following statement:
“As Supreme Court nomination hearings begin, Arizonans across the state are living in fear of losing their health care coverage and protections for pre-existing conditions as a result of Trump’s broken promises. Instead of working across the aisle to get relief to struggling families and small business owners across Arizona, Trump has abandoned bipartisan negotiations on coronavirus relief while rushing to confirm a new Justice in order to overturn the ACA. It’s clear that health care coverage, including protections for 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions, hangs in the balance with this Supreme Court nomination. Arizonans deserve leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who will protect and build on the ACA to give Americans more choice, reduce health care costs, and make our health care system less complex. Voters across Arizona are already casting their ballots and their voices deserve to be heard.”