People For the American Way

On ACA 10th Anniversary, Remember Senators’ Votes for Anti-Health Care Judges

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On ACA 10th Anniversary, Remember Senators’ Votes for Anti-Health Care Judges

Ten years ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act provided a lifeline to millions of Americans who lacked health coverage. Sadly, ever since then the ACA has been under attack from the far right. Republicans have tried repeatedly to repeal the ACA, and even with control of both houses of Congress and the White House, they have failed. But that has not stopped them; at the same time, they have turned to confirmation of numerous anti-ACA judges to the federal bench, with the goal of undermining the law through litigation. That strategy has had a frightening degree of success. The ACA is teetering on the brink of being ruled unconstitutional, after suffering serious blows in federal court.

And that means it’s critical for people to recognize the role their senators are playing in endangering health care for millions of Americans by confirming anti-health care judges. People For the American Way and Progress Iowa are doing this by rolling out a new video calling out Sen. Joni Ernst for her ongoing efforts to undermine access to health care with her judicial confirmation votes. At a time when the nation is gripped by a dangerous coronavirus pandemic, Ernst’s attacks on health care are even more egregious and inexcusable. Even though Ernst once pledged to protect health care for people with preexisting conditions, she has voted to repeal the ACA and has repeatedly voted to confirm federal judges who have attacked the ACA and its preexisting conditions safeguards.

“Joni Ernst has voted in lockstep with Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump to confirm a long line of right-wing judges who are deeply hostile to the ACA,” said Marge Baker, executive vice president for policy and program at People For the American Way. “This is their strategy: to use the courts and ultraconservative judges to accomplish what they couldn’t do with legislation — wipe out the ACA and other critically important rights and protections for health care. Ernst needs to hear from constituents: stop voting for Trump judges who will destroy our health care.”

“Joni Ernst’s opposition to affordable and accessible health care was always harmful to Iowans, and in the middle of this public health crisis we can see even more clearly how dangerous it is,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “It is especially important for Iowans to know that even though Republicans failed to repeal the ACA in Congress, Ernst and fellow right-wing senators are confirming federal judges who are staunchly opposed to the health care law. These judges can and will rule to gut the law and deprive millions of Americans of health care.”

Ernst is not alone in her efforts to destroy access to affordable health care by confirming anti-health care judges. Other senators, including Cory Gardner, Susan Collins, Martha McSally, Thom Tillis and David Perdue are doing the same thing. Click here to access our VotetheCourts2020 page and view fact sheets on these senators’ records.

View the full video below:


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