Amy Coney Barrett is a Targeted Missile at the Affordable Care Act and Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

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Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Amy Coney Barrett has been obsessive in her desire to repeal the ACA, attacking both Supreme Court decisions upholding the law and leaving no doubt she would vote to take away health care from millions. It’s no wonder that President Trump, who shares her obsession, may choose her.

Just one week after the election, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case that could mean the end of the Affordable Care Act, creating total chaos and leaving 20 million without coverage in the middle of a pandemic. More than 130 million Americans — including 6 million Coronavirus survivors — would be vulnerable to discrimination based on their pre-existing conditions.

Amy Coney Barrett criticized the way the Supreme Court handled NFIB v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell in 2017.

Barrett wrote favorably of the dissent in King v. Burwell. “To the extent that NFIB v. Sebelius expresses a commitment to judicial restraint by creatively interpreting ostensibly clear statutory text, its approach is at odds with the statutory textualism to which most originalists subscribe. Thus Justice Scalia, criticizing the majority’s construction of the Affordable Care Act in both NFIB v. Sebelius and King v. Burwell, protested that the statute known as Obamacare should be renamed ‘SCOTUScare’ in honor of the Court’s willingness to ‘rewrite’ the statute in order to keep it afloat.” [Notre Dame Law School, Amy C. Barrett, Countering the Majoritarian Difficulty, 32 Const. Comment. 61 (2017) (book review), 1/7/17]

Barrett said it was ‘illegitimate’ for the Supreme Court to ‘distort’ the Constitution for a preferable result. “For Justice Scalia and those who share his commitment to uphold text, the measure of a court is its fairminded application of the rule of law, which means going where the law leads. By this measure, it is illegitimate for the Court to distort either the Constitution or a statute to achieve what it deems a preferable result.” [Notre Dame Law School, Amy C. Barrett, Countering the Majoritarian Difficulty, 32 Const. Comment. 61 (2017) (book review), 1/7/17]

Barrett said Roberts pushed the ACA ‘beyond its plausible meaning’ to save it. “In NFIB v. Sebelius, the inspiration for Barnett’s book, Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.” [Notre Dame Law School, Amy C. Barrett, Countering the Majoritarian Difficulty, 32 Const. Comment. 61 (2017) (book review), 1/7/17]

In 2012, Barrett added her name to a letter written by several prominent conservative leaders criticizing the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate — which required employee plans within the exchanges to cover contraception methods and counseling for all women. The letter states, “This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.”

Barrett signed on to a letter titled ‘Unacceptable,’ which said the ACA’s requirement that insurance plans offer contraception was a ‘grave infringement on religious liberty.’ “It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying “five day after pill” pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer. … The simple fact is that the Obama administration is compelling religious people and institutions who are employers to purchase a health insurance contract that provides abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization. This is a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand. It is an insult to the intelligence of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other people of faith and conscience to imagine that they will accept an assault on their religious liberty if only it is covered up by a cheap accounting trick. Finally, it bears noting that by sustaining the original narrow exemptions for churches, auxiliaries, and religious orders, the administration has effectively admitted that the new policy (like the old one) amounts to a grave infringement on religious liberty.” [Letter, 2/27/12]

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