Washington, DC, June 26, 2020—Yesterday, in the dead of night, the Trump administration filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to strike the Affordable Care Act — highlighting yet again that Donald Trump can never be trusted to protect your health care.
As the country grapples with the staggering consequences of Donald Trump’s failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has refused to relent in his attacks on our health care. Instead, Trump has doubled down on backing this dangerous lawsuit, a legal battle that could result in millions of people — disproportionately women — losing their health insurance, eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and do away with Medicaid expansion and important guarantees of no-cost birth control, maternity coverage, and much more.
These health care programs were created to address the very real gap in health care access that exists for people with low incomes — many of whom are Black and Latinx, due to centuries of discriminatory economic policies, red-lining, and institutional and structural racism. COVID-19 has posed an additional massive risk to the health of Black people, who already face medical mistreatment in health care delivery and barriers to accessing quality care. They are trying to survive dual public health crises: systemic racism and the pandemic. In spite of this reality, Trump is targeting the very programs designed to address the health care gap — and is joined in this crusade by Senate Republicans, many of whom voted to repeal the ACA and continue to enable Trump’s continued attacks on health care access.
Samuel Lau, communications director, Planned Parenthood Votes:
“By nearly every measurement, Donald Trump has failed to protect our country from the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, he’s doubling down to ‘terminate’ the very safety net that people are relying on for their health care. Millions of people have lost their jobs — and with it, their health care coverage — in the wake of Trump’s incompetent response to this public health crisis. For many, the Affordable Care Act is the only way they can get the care they need, especially for Black and Latinx communities that are already more vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the ways systemic racism have created very real barriers to accessing care. It’s unconscionable. We won’t forget that when we needed leadership, Donald Trump and his allies in the Senate attacked our health care, our reproductive rights, and our freedoms. Joe Biden was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act signed into law, and we need him in the White House to protect and expand our health and rights.”
In the midst of a pandemic, the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions and expanded health care coverage are more critical than ever — especially for women, LGBTQ people, and Black and Latinx communities that bear the brunt of systemic racism and the many ways it has created very real barriers to accessing health care, and thus are affected by COVID-19 at higher rates. Politicians on the ballot this November — from Donald Trump to incumbents like Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martha McSally (R-AZ) — have attacked the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing essential health services and protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions.
As the pressure on our public health infrastructure mounts, Planned Parenthood Votes will continue to call attention to attacks on the ACA from politicians who have put our health at risk:
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- Donald Trump and his administration have sabotaged the Affordable Care Act at every turn — including backing this legal challenge that could eliminate the law, and working to undermine core protections like the guarantee that health insurance through your employer must cover birth control. They have also pushed harmful Medicaid expansion “work requirements” that cause people — disproportionately women of color due to systemic racism, sexism, and structural barriers that make them more likely to use Medicaid and to work in nontraditional jobs — to lose their health coverage entirely.
- Before a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and dismantle protections for pre-existing conditions, Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), then a member of the House, urged her colleagues to ‘get this f—ing thing done,’ jeopardizing affordable coverage for 709,000 Arizonans. She also refused to oppose the Trump administration’s efforts in this lawsuit to overturn the ACA, saying “That’s their decision” and “it’s not my role” to oppose it.
- Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) has voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would take away protections from more than 429,000 Montanans who have pre-existing conditions.
- Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing health care coverage for 588,000 Coloradans. Gardner initially dodged questions about the Trump administration’s ACA lawsuit, before agreeing with the argument that the law is unconstitutional.
- Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which could jeopardize protections for more than 4.2 million North Carolinians who have pre-existing conditions. He also backed the Trump administration’s efforts in this lawsuit and asserted, “I support anything that ultimately takes [the ACA] off the table.”
- Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, putting coverage at risk for 230,000 Iowans who receive insurance from the ACA and over 1.2 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions. Ernst dodged questions about the Trump administration’s efforts in this case, saying, “Um, I am not going to make a determination on that, I am not an attorney.”
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voted in favor of the Trump-McConnell tax scam, which gave a massive tax handout to billionaires and corporations and put the Affordable Care Act at risk.
- Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) committed to voting for legislation that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act, even though it could result in one million Georgians losing their health coverage — before he had even read the Republican bill.
- John James, who could challenge health care champion Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) in Michigan, called the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions a “monstrosity.”
Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.