Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden joined his party’s criticism of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett this week, specifically attacking her over a perceived desire to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
The former vice president echoed Democratic Party talking points by repeating the claim that Barrett “said she wants to get rid of” Obamacare, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Let’s keep our eye on the ball”
His remarks came on Monday, as the Senate confirmation hearing got underway.
Opponents of Barrett’s nomination have pointed to past writings in attempting to predict how she might rule in an upcoming Supreme Court case regarding the healthcare law. Many Democrats have accused Senate Republicans of pushing her confirmation through in an effort to fulfill their promise to repeal its provisions.
Biden addressed the issue with reporters ahead of a campaign stop in Ohio, misrepresenting Barrett’s previously stated position, according to the Examiner.
“This nominee has said she wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act — this president wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “Let’s keep our eye on the ball. This is about less than one month [in which] Americans are going to lose their health insurance.”
When confronted with the issue on Tuesday, Fox News reported that Barrett asserted that she is not inherently opposed to any congressionally authorized law — including Obamacare.
“Walk in like a royal queen”
“I am not hostile to the ACA,” she said. “I’m not hostile to any statute that you pass.”
The allegation repeated this week by Biden appears to stem from her 2017 criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts for construing the law’s penalty as a tax. Barrett argued at the time that Roberts “pushed the Affordable Care act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”
The nominee, who also criticized a 2015 Supreme Court decision upholding the law, argued this week that her past writings do not deal with the pertinent issue in the upcoming case: whether Obama can stand as law without the individual mandate. Furthermore, she made it clear in her remarks that she has no preconceived desire to strike down any particular policy.
“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said.
Nevertheless, Democrats — including Biden — seem convinced that their effort to portray her as a tool to destroy Obamacare is a winning strategy.