Sen. Casey Is No Fan of SCOTUS Nominee Barrett, Calls Her a Threat to Medicare

U.S. Sen.Bob Casey, speaks to reporters in 2018, in the studio of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Patrick Abdalla

October 14, 2020

Pennsylvania’s senior senator pointed out that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t say whether she thought Medicare was constitutional.

Sen. Bob Casey showed that he’s no fan of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett during a teleconference on health care issues Wednesday afternoon.

Casey painted Barrett as a radical on the call, criticizing her for not taking a stand on the constitutionality of several issues and public policies. He pointed out she wouldn’t even say whether Medicare, a program that has been in place since 1966, is constitutional.

“I guess what’s next on the clock is Medicare,” Pennsylvania’s senior senator said.

Casey said that Barrett’s stance on the Affordable Care Act alone was disqualifying for him.

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments again on the constitutionality of the act on Nov. 10. The court has ruled the act constitutional, but that was with a majority of Chief Justice John Roberts and associate justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Ginsburg died on Sept. 18. The addition of Barrett to the court could lead to a different outcome this time.

Casey noted that Republicans have repeatedly fought the act since its passage in 2010. They took it to court in 2012 and 2018. In 2017, Republicans tried to repeal it in Congress. Each of those efforts failed.

While the Trump Administration fights the ACA in court, Donald Trump has repeatedly said he would ensure pre-existing conditions would be covered, but he hasn’t provided voters with his plan for ensuring coverage the moment the court knocks down the act.

The administration’s stance wasn’t the only health care issue addressed on the call, which included former Scranton Mayor James Connors, state Rep. Bridget Malloy Kosierowski (D-Lackawanna), and Medicare recipient Esther Wigley.

Kosierowski talked about her experience as a nurse of 27 years and her son’s battle with leukemia. 

“Health care is a very personal thing for me, she said. 

Connors, who was a Republican for the majority of his 12 years as mayor but has been a Democrat since 2002, echoed that sentiment. He talked about his granddaughter’s battles with leukemia.

He also talked about managing 650 employees.   

“The main thing on their mind was not salary,” he said. “It was health care.”

Wigley talked about the cost of paying for health care as a senior. She has paid off all of her bills from 2017, and almost paid off her bills from 2018 and 2019. The experience has kept her up at night.

“Paying them off would mean I wouldn’t be able to put food on the table,” she said.

Her healthcare concerns are why she is supporting Joe Biden in the election. 


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