Editor of the Reformer,
Donald Trump and the Republican Senate majority have long conspired to tilt the balance of power toward the pockets of billionaires. Now they’re stacking the Supreme Court with another hard-right, corporate-friendly ringer who will inflict even more damage on ordinary Americans.
Throughout her confirmation hearings, Amy Coney Barrett claimed she was not “on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act.” That’s a shamelessly disingenuous dodge. She has publicly criticized previous rulings upholding the ACA and was explicitly selected by Trump and a powerful cabal of big-money lobbyists as a reliable vote to kill the health care law when it’s challenged in the Supreme Court on November 10.
If the ACA dies, millions of Americans immediately lose health insurance amid a deadly pandemic now spiking in 44 states. The insurance industry would again be free to punish the 54 million-plus Americans with pre-existing conditions by drastically increasing their premiums or denying coverage altogether. And the number of Americans with pre-existing conditions will only grow as many COVID-19 survivors suffer serious ongoing health issues.
Don’t count on Trump or the GOP to replace the ACA with a better health care bill. No new set of protections will magically appear if he manages to win.
Nor would the loss of the ACA be the only bad news flowing from her appointment to the court. The ideological bias of Barrett, who worked for the GOP in the Bush v. Gore debacle and whose father was an attorney for Shell, far outweighs her judicial credentials. Her extremist views and corporate ties are a danger to American democracy and the civil liberties of everyone. Her writings and associations foretell any number of catastrophic court decisions. She even declined to acknowledge climate change as scientific fact.
Barrett’s immediate value to Trump also goes beyond the ACA. She would not commit to recusing herself from an election challenge by Trump, nor so much as confirm that a president who decisively loses re-election must leave the White House peacefully, as required by law.
With an entrenched majority of hard line conservatives stacking the court, Barrett’s appointment represents the tragic corruption of our most trusted institution, in service to special interests. Our future depends on electing a Democratic president and Congressional majority to counterbalance such a dangerous bias and restore representation for the people.
Robin Vaughan Kolderie
Hoosick, N.Y., Oct. 18