WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, this week joined the In the Bubble podcast with Andy Slavitt to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act as Republicans continue their attempts to gut it, and what’s at stake as Republicans try to jam through Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Andy Slavitt was the former Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from March 2015 – January 2017.
On Republicans’ repeated attempts to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, Murphy said: “Now that we are over 200,000 people dead, the idea that this administration still thinks it’s a good idea to take away health care for 23 million and let pre-existing conditions once again become something that could cause you to lose health insurance is just unconscionable...I guess it’s unsurprising given how much time they’ve spent on trying to get rid of the ACA since 2010 that they’ve not only decided to keep going in the middle of COVID-19 but that they’ve decided to double down with the opportunity to steal a court seat from Obama. They are now going to try to get this all done and wrapped up before the election so that right after the election, this case which is pending, can move forward with Amy Coney Barrett on the court.”
Murphy continued: “Just imagine, beginning of next year with cases on the rise and all of the sudden, millions of your neighbors losing health care out of nowhere. Just a humanitarian catastrophe.”
On the COVID-19 outbreak potentially affecting the confirmation process for Judge Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court, Murphy said: “These guys are not going to let a deadly virus get in the way of stacking the Supreme Court. I mean, this is what they live for. They are frankly willing to die for it as well…and let me die for it. This idea that we’re going to be able to stop this because of this outbreak misunderstands how serious these guys are about ripping everybody’s health care away. Ron Johnson, Mike Lee will show up for the vote with positive cases of COVID if that’s what is necessary to get her on the court.”
On the potential for virtual Judiciary Committee hearing for Judge Barrett’s confirmation, Murphy said: “It’s 100% not acceptable to do on Zoom…I’ve done these remote hearings and they are hard to follow. It’s hard to be in a conversation with someone remotely. People are getting kicked on and off. I mean, this is a life changing appointment to the Supreme Court. It is not just the Affordable Care Act. If Amy Coney Barrett gets onto the Court, states will be allowed to criminalize abortion, background check laws will likely be invalidated. Your life is going to be fundamentally different if this nomination is rammed through. So the idea that they are going to do this by video call is just preposterous. No – this hearing has to happen in person and I think they are going to look absolutely foolish if they try to push this forward via Zoom.”
This week, Murphy launched a campaign inviting people across Connecticut to share their health care stories and describe how they would be impacted if the Republican lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act after ten years succeeds. Murphy launched this story share campaign as a way to highlight what’s at stake if Republicans confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the United States Supreme Court, and the is struck down in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Murphy took to the U.S. Senate floor to highlight what’s at stake with Judge Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
Click here to listen to the interview in full.