Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans Vote to Strip Americans of Health Care Yet Again

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Lucas Acosta (he/him), former Deputy Director of Communications, Politics

Today, the Human Rights Campaign responded to the U.S. Senate’s failure to protect health care access for more than 100 million Americans and prevent the Trump-Pence administration from trying to strike the Affordable Care Act down through the courts in the middle of a pandemic.

“Today’s vote by Senate Republicans yet again proves they have no interest in protecting Americans’ access to health care or ensuring people with pre-existing conditions are able to keep their health care in the midst of a public health crisis,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “While people are suffering across the country, instead of offering aid, McConnell and Senate Republicans are rushing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett – a Supreme Court nominee who could deal a fatal blow to people maintaining their basic health care--especially protections for people with preexisting conditions--LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. The last four years have been an assault on equality, health care and the civil rights of millions across the country -- an assault led by Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell. We must Unite for Equality and hold them accountable this November at the ballot box.”

Should the ACA be eliminated, more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose their protections and guaranteed access to coverage, including those with employer-sponsored insurance who could once again face annual or lifetime limits on care. Tens of millions of people could lose coverage during a global pandemic as COVID-19 would qualify as a pre-existing condition.

Last week, HRC responded to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Coney Barrett has demonstrated hostility toward LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights, and her work and rulings have raised significant concerns to her approach to Civil Rights law.

She has criticized the ruling that upheld the Affordable Care Act—which has helped millions attain quality, affordable healthcare—and expressed opinions that suggest she would strike down the law. Days after the election, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an argument in a case that could undermine this transformative piece of legislation, and with it the healthcare security of more than one hundred million people, including a disproportionate number of LGBTQ people.

HRC published a research brief outlining the particular health and economic risks faced by the LGBTQ community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Many in the LGBTQ community are uniquely vulnerable, as they are more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis, are less likely to have health coverage and are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma.

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