- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the Republicans’ push for a quick replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg comes down to the partisan battle over the Affordable Care Act.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said Judges Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa, who are on President Trump’s nominee short list, were picked to give the Republicans an edge in the upcoming Supreme Court case to determine the fate of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

“The reason they were perched for this, within just a couple of hours after the announcement of her passing … was so inappropriate,” the speaker said on CBS’ “This Morning.” “This rush to appoint someone to be there in time for the November 10 arguments … the administration will make the case against the Affordable Care Act.”

“Republicans are misrepresenting that they support the preexisting condition benefit,” Mrs. Pelosi added.

Currently, the Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which included protections for those with preexisitng conditions that made it difficult or more expensive to find coverage.

Congress stripped the tax penalty for not having medical coverage in the 2017 GOP tax overhaul, which led to the lower courts ruling the law was not constitutional.

The fight worked its way through the court system, and now the Supreme Court will have to decide whether other parts of the Obama-era health care bill can stand without the tax mandate.

With this court case looming, Mr. Trump issued a new executive order on Thursday that makes it official U.S. policy that medical insurers must continue to cover to those with preexisting conditions.

“It’s trying primarily to make sure any insurance company if they got someone covered that they can’t increase the premiums and essentially price that person out of coverage just because they happen to get sick or have a preexisting condition,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows explained earlier on the same show.

In a statement following the administration’s announcement, Mrs. Pelosi called the order “bogus” and said it “isn’t worth the paper it’s signed on.”

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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