Nomination Threatens Preexisting Conditions, Rural Hospitals During Pandemic

BISMARCK, ND —  The Senate Judiciary Committee heard opening statements today regarding President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett has criticized the reasoning upholding the Affordable Care Act. If nominated, she would hear a case seeking to eliminate the ACA. Oral arguments are currently set for November 10.

The lawsuit is supported by the North Dakota Republicans who have made no plan to prepare for the fall-out, which would include tens of thousands of North Dakotans losing coverage for preexisting conditions during the pandemic. Those who have contracted COVID-19 will now be considered to have a preexisting condition. Eliminating the ACA would also mean North Dakota loses funding for Medicaid expansion, which has been crucial in keeping rural hospitals open. North Dakota is facing a hospital capacity crisis right now in part because of COVID-19.

The Democratic-NPL Party Chairwoman Kylie Oversen said: 

“Confirming this nominee puts access to affordable healthcare at serious risk in North Dakota. While the NDGOP has fought against the ACA, they’ve made no effort whatsoever to prepare for the repercussions, even as a pandemic ravages our state. Judge Barrett’s confirmation would be a dangerous setback for North Dakotans with preexisting conditions who could lose coverage entirely while the COVID-19 virus leaves untold lingering effects on new North Dakotans every day. Rural hospitals, which rely on the ACA for funding, would be doomed, meaning life or death for North Dakotans who already have long drives for emergency care as the state faces a serious capacity crisis.”