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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Help Us Fight the Supreme Court Nomination and Save the Affordable Care Act!

Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that the Senate will hastily move forward with her confirmation hearings in mid-October, with a vote planned shortly after. Judge Barrett’s opinions on a number of issues are damaging to disability rights, and her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court would threaten the rights and lives of Americans with disabilities. NCIL strongly opposes her nomination.

We, along with over 50 other national, state, and local disability rights organizations have sent a letter (PDF) urging the Senate to oppose her nomination. We are continuing to work with these organizations and others to oppose her nomination, and now we need your help.

Take Action!

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on November 10. The ACA has been vital to millions of people across the country, including the disability community. Judge Barrett’s vocal opposition to the law is highly concerning, and her appointment to the Supreme Court makes the loss of the ACA far more likely.

1. Share your story: We need your stories of how the ACA has helped you, and how overturning the ACA would be harmful. Please share with us how the Affordable Care Act has helped you, or how losing the ACA would be harmful. You can share your stories with us using our online form or at comments@ncil.org. Because this is moving so quickly, we are requesting this information by Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Thank you for your help!

2. Contact your Senator: You can call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Senators. You can find your Senators’ contact forms at senate.gov. You can find your Senators’ Twitter handles, Facebook pages, and more on Contacting Congress.

Sample script: Hi, my name is (NAME), and I’m from (CITY, STATE). I am (calling / writing) to urge the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the President’s Supreme Court Nominee. Judge Barrett has a history of decisions that are concerning to me as a disabled person. Moreover, Congress should not act on any nomination until Congress has passed, and the President has signed, a COVID-19 relief bill. There is far too much at stake to rush this important decision. Please reject Judge Barret’s nomination. (Your name)

Additional Background

Judge Barrett has a history of decisions that have harmed the disability community. From siding against disabled students who were being discriminated against, to her opinion that the public charge rule does not discriminate against disabled people, to being a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act, Judge Barrett’s appointment to the US Supreme Court would bring immeasurable harm to our community. And, in the midst of a pandemic that has killed over 200,000 Americans, it is shameful that the Senate is prioritizing rushing through this highly politicized Supreme Court appointment, rather than focusing on much-needed COVID-19 relief.

Importantly, with the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision about the future of the ACA, Judge Barrett’s confirmation makes losing the ACA much more likely. Millions of people gained health insurance coverage because of the ACA, and would be at risk of losing it if the law is struck down. But that’s not all. Here are just a few of the ways the ACA has helped us:

  • Insurers cannot discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. This means they cannot deny coverage, charge higher premiums, or refuse to cover care related to these conditions.
  • Insurers are not allowed to impose lifetime or annual dollar limits.
  • People who make under certain incomes are eligible for subsidies to purchase insurance.
  • Young adults can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26.
  • All plans are required to cover certain minimum benefits. These are called Essential Health Benefits.
  • Medicaid was expanded in 39 states (including DC).
  • As a result of the various ways coverage has become more affordable and accessible, over 20 million people have gained health coverage.
  • The Community First Choice Option (1915(k)) was established. This allows states to receive an increased FMAP for providing new or expanded home and community based services (HCBS).
  • The Money Follows the Person demonstration program was reauthorized and expanded.

Please contact your Senators now, and submit your stories to us by October 14!

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