I had the honor of representing National Council of Jewish Women at the “No Confirmation Before Inauguration” rally at the Supreme Court on September 27, 2020 and shared the following remarks:
I am here representing the National Council of Jewish Women’s 180,000 advocates across the country. But I am also here as a mom of a child with a pre-existing condition. He needs insulin 24/7 to stay alive. Almost half of the population has a chronic illness: 135 million people with pre-existing conditions for whom the Affordable Care Act was a game-changer.
The Supreme Court will hear a case about the Affordable Care Act exactly one week after Election Day- on November 10. It’s no surprise Sen. McConnell is rushing to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court given this timing — a justice seated before then could hear the arguments and decide on the case. The Court could do away with covering pre-existing conditions or, worse, the entire law. If the ACA is gutted or overturned, how will people like my son get insurance? He doesn’t have a choice whether or not to take insulin. And, for every person like him, the costs for medications and devices are staggering. Even with insurance.
The president has stated his intention to appoint federal judges who would roll back the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights. He has been true to his word — of the more than 200 judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, almost all have backgrounds hostile to health care, including abortion. This is true of the justices he has already put on the Supreme Court: Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. And this is true of Amy Coney Barrett.
The loss of health insurance is already keenly felt by the newly unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of ramming through a Supreme Court nominee, the Senate should be voting on a COVID-19 relief package that responds to the needs of the millions of people who have been impacted by this devastating health crisis. There are more than 20 million job losses. More than 200,000 people are dead. Women, children, and families are suffering. Our health is on the line; our bodies are on the line; our constitutional rights are on the line.
Using the courts to take away our health care, especially at this moment in our nation’s history, is cruel and immoral. Amid a global pandemic, and now — among the holiest days for the Jewish people when we are called on to reflect, repent, and heal the world around us — the Senate’s top priority should be the needs of the American people.
The leaders we elect this November must decide who will preside for life on the Supreme Court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy deserves better than this. My son deserves better than this. We all deserve better than this.