Otago Daily Times

Democrats tar­get Bar­rett on health­care

- US Elections · U.S. News · US Politics · Discrimination · Politics · Elections · Health Care · Obamacare · Infectious Diseases · Justice · Human Rights · Society · Health Conditions · Law · Democratic Party (United States) · Washington · Kamala Harris · Donald Trump · Samuel Alito · U.S. Supreme Court · Amy Coney Barrett · Republican Party (United States) · Senate Judiciary Committee · Barack Obama · John Roberts · Joe Biden · Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASH­ING­TON: Demo­cratic sen­a­tors, in­clud­ing vi­cepres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Ka­mala Har­ris, yes­ter­day painted Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Supreme Court nom­i­nee, Amy Coney Bar­rett, as a threat to the Oba­macare health­care law dur­ing a deadly pan­demic, and de­nounced the Repub­li­can drive to ap­prove her be­fore the Novem­ber 3 US elec­tion.

As the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee be­gan its four­day con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing for Bar­rett, Democrats voiced their op­po­si­tion even though they have lit­tle hope of de­rail­ing her nom­i­na­tion in the Repub­li­can­led Se­nate.

Repub­li­can sen­a­tors praised Bar­rett as a wor­thy suc­ces­sor to the late lib­eral Jus­tice Ruth Bader Gins­burg.

Bar­rett wore a face mask as sen­a­tors — some present in the room and some on video links be­cause of Covid­19 — made open­ing state­ments. Bar­rett, who had a bout with the coro­n­avirus ear­lier in the year, re­moved her mask when she was sworn in to de­liver her own open­ing state­ment.

‘‘I be­lieve Amer­i­cans of all back­grounds de­serve an in­de­pen­dent Supreme Court that in­ter­prets our Con­sti­tu­tion and laws as they are writ­ten,’’ Bar­rett said, with her hus­band and six of her seven chil­dren sit­ting be­hind her.

It was the fate of the 2010 Af­ford­able Care Act, Demo­cratic for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture do­mes­tic pol­icy achieve­ment, that was the fo­cus of the Democrats.

Bar­rett has crit­i­cised a 2012 Supreme Court rul­ing au­thored by con­ser­va­tive Chief Jus­tice John Roberts that up­held Oba­macare.

Har­ris, the run­ning mate of Trump’s Demo­cratic elec­tion op­po­nent Joe Bi­den, called the con­fir­ma­tion process so near an elec­tion rushed and il­le­git­i­mate.

‘‘I do be­lieve this hear­ing is a clear at­tempt to jam through a Supreme Court nom­i­nee who will take away health­care from mil­lions of peo­ple dur­ing a deadly pan­demic that has al­ready killed more than 214,000 Amer­i­cans,’’ Har­ris said, speak­ing via a video link.

Bar­rett could be con­firmed in time to par­tic­i­pate in a case to be ar­gued on Novem­ber 10, in which Trump and Repub­li­can­led states are seek­ing to in­val­i­date Oba­macare.

Democrats dis­played posters of pa­tients who could lose their med­i­cal cov­er­age if Oba­macare is in­val­i­dated. Oba­macare bars in­sur­ance com­pa­nies from deny­ing cov­er­age to peo­ple with pre­ex­ist­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions.

Bar­rett will face ques­tion­ing from sen­a­tors to­day and to­mor­row in a hear­ing that sets the stage for a full Se­nate vote by the end of Oc­to­ber on con­firm­ing her. — Reuters

 ?? PHOTO: REUTERS ?? US Supreme Court nom­i­nee Amy Coney Bar­rett is sworn in dur­ing her con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing be­fore the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee on Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: REUTERS US Supreme Court nom­i­nee Amy Coney Bar­rett is sworn in dur­ing her con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing be­fore the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee on Capi­tol Hill in Wash­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

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