Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) acknowledged on Monday that Democrats do not have "some secret, clever, procedural way to stop" the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, arguing that the only way for Americans to "change the trajectory of this nomination" is by voting.
The big picture: Klobuchar and other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee used day one of Barrett's confirmation hearings to criticize the process of rushing through a nomination after voting in the 2020 election has already begun, attacking it as a "sham" and "illegitimate."
A record 4.4. million children were without health insurance last year, an increase by about 320,000, an analysis of Census data shows.
Why it matters: After decades of decline, it's the third year in a row the nation has seen an increase in the number of uninsured children.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday called on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to commit to recusing herself from cases involving the Affordable Care Act and the 2020 election if confirmed.
Why it matters: Barrett wrote in 2017 that Chief Justice John Roberts betrayed the tenets of conservative legal analysis when he upheld the Affordable Care Act. The law will be back before the court in November. Democrats have made it central to their messaging that Barrett will try to invalidate the law if she is confirmed to the court.
Sen. Kamala Harris said at Wednesday's vice presidential debate that the Trump administration does not have a plan to protect health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, looking into the camera and declaring: "If you have a pre-existing condition — heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer — they're coming for you.
Why it matters: The Biden campaign has consistently sought to make the Trump administration-backed lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act — which protects coverage for pre-existing conditions — a core election message, particularly as the U.S. continues to struggle to control the pandemic. Health care has been proven to be one of the issues that resonates most with voters.
Six Republican senators, five of whom are up for re-election in 2020, sided with Democrats on Thursday in a procedural vote to block the Trump administration from supporting a lawsuit that would dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Why it matters: The final vote on the motion was 51-43, failing to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold to pass. But the move by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) forced several vulnerable GOP senators to go on the record on whether they support the lawsuit, which could strip protections from pre-existing conditions for millions of Americans.
Joe Biden's proposal to increase Affordable Care Act subsidies and open the marketplace to people with employer insurance could save millions of people hundreds of dollars a month, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
Why it matters: Biden's plan to build on the ACA — making it more affordable and drawing more people onto its exchanges — sets up a stark contrast with President Trump's vision, which is to tear the entire law down.
Joe Biden made health care the overwhelming focus of his remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday, stressing that the Senate confirmation battle over Judge Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the Supreme Court is about preserving the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a pandemic.
Why it matters: Democrats are aggressively pushing the message that Barrett, who has previously criticized Chief Justice John Roberts for his 2012 ruling salvaging the ACA, will seek to invalidate the law when the Supreme Court hears a Trump administration-backed lawsuit against it on Nov. 10.
President Trump on Sunday tweeted that the Supreme Court invalidating the Affordable Care Act would be "a big WIN for the USA!"
Why it matters: Democrats have argued that confirming a Trump-appointed justice to the Supreme Court would put the Affordable Care Act, which protects pre-existing conditions, in jeopardy. Trump's Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett, has written that she disagreed with Chief Justice John Roberts when he ruled to uphold the law.
President Trump issued an executive order on Thursday pledging to protect Americans with preexisting conditions — which is not only toothless but also is only necessary if a Trump-backed lawsuit successfully dismantles the Affordable Care Act.
Why it matters: The presidential election is a month and a half away, and Republicans learned the hard way in 2018 that threatening the ACA's preexisting conditions protections is politically perilous.
The sudden uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act could be an enormous political liability for Republicans in key states come November.
Between the lines: Millions of people in crucial presidential and Senate battlegrounds would lose their health care coverage if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, as the Trump administration is urging it to.