10.06.20

Senator Murray Stresses the Stakes of SCOTUS Fight for People with Disabilities: “We Cannot Roll Back Access, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity”

On a call, Senator Murray encourages 230 disability advocates to keep up the fight against the Republicans’ rushed SCOTUS nomination

 

Senator Murray highlights how Republicans’ singular focus on confirming another far-right nominee to the Supreme Court would impact people with disabilities’ access to health care

 

Senator Murray to disability advocates: “Instead of doing anything to help each of you, all Senate Republicans are doing is rushing through the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, a move that could roll back important protections for people with disabilities.”

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, encouraged disability advocates to keep up the fight to slow and stop the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court—and highlighted how Senate Republicans’ singular focus on their rushed confirmation process would harm the disability community and impact their access to affordable health care.

 

“We should be working to make health care more affordable and accessible and pass a COVID relief package that ensures people with disabilities get the supports and services they need in the midst of this pandemic. But instead of doing anything to help each of you, all Senate Republicans are doing is rushing through the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, a move that could roll back important protections for people with disabilities. It’s absolutely disgraceful—and that’s why I’m committed to do everything I can to support you in the fight to stop this nomination,” said Senator Murray on call with 230 people with disabilities, their families, and advocates, hosted by the Association of University Centers for Disability (AUCD).

 

On the call, Senator Murray stressed that if Senate Republicans succeed in confirming Judge Barrett and dismantling the Affordable Care Act, people with disabilities would lose protections for pre-existing conditions including disabilities, bans on annual and lifetime caps on benefits, and essential health benefits—which require health plans to cover crucial expenses for people with disabilities like prescription drugs, and habilitative and rehabilitative services.

 

Senator Murray also highlighted how Senate Republicans’ effort to confirm another far-right Supreme Court nominee would have far-reaching impacts for people with disabilities, beyond just their access to health care. Senator Murray noted that Justice Barrett has not been champion for equal rights for people with disabilities—and the upcoming nomination fight threatens to roll back important advancement in access, inclusion and equal opportunity for people with disabilities.  

 

“Not only do Senate Republicans want to confirm a nominee who would take health care away from millions, and make it more expensive for people with disabilities, but their nominee is also a threat to the rights of workers, including workers with disabilities,” continue Senator Murray, on the call. “Trying to replace Justice Ginsburg—a champion for disability rights—with someone who will not fight for equal rights, is deeply troubling.  We cannot roll back access, inclusion, and equal opportunity.”

 

Senator Murray’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below.

 

“Thank you so much, Rylin, thank you Senator Casey and Senator Duckworth for your work fighting for the disability community, and thank you to everyone who has joined us on this call today— for getting in this important fight.

“Before I begin, I want to start by wishing the President—as well as the First Lady, Senator Lee, Senator Tillis, Senator Johnson, and others—a quick recovery after their COVID diagnoses.

 

“This is a terrible disease, and it continues to impact so many families across the country.

 

“But—as everyone here knows—it has impacted the disability community especially hard.


“That’s why we should be working to make health care more affordable and accessible and pass a COVID relief package that ensures people with disabilities get the supports and services they need in the midst of this pandemic.

 

“But instead of doing anything to help each of you, all Senate Republicans are doing is rushing through the nomination of Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court, a move that could roll back important protections for people with disabilities.

 

“It’s absolutely disgraceful—and that’s why I’m committed to do everything I can to support you in the fight to stop this nomination.

 

“Because if Republicans get their way, and get Judge Barrett on the Court before the people have their voices heard in this election, she could end the critical protections of the A-C-A and upend health care for millions of people.

 

“By fighting to confirm Judge Barret’s nomination, Senate Republicans are fighting to end protections for pre-existing conditions, and bring us back to the days when insurance companies could charge you more because you have a disability, refuse to cover benefits you need, or simply refuse to sell you coverage.

 

“They are fighting to get rid of caps on how much you have to pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses and bring back annual and lifetime caps on your benefits.

 

“Even the midst of a pandemic, Senate Republicans are focused only on advancing this nomination so that the Supreme Court can rule to strike down Medicaid expansion which has increased access to care that have improved many of your lives and others and end essential health benefits which require insurance companies to cover basic expenses that can be so important to each of you like prescription drugs, or habilitative and rehabilitative services.

 

“And not only do Senate Republicans want to confirm a nominee who would take health care away from millions, and make it more expensive for people with disabilities, but their nominee is also a threat to the rights of workers, including workers with disabilities.

 

“Trying to replace Justice Ginsburg—a champion for disability rights—with someone who will not fight for equal rights, is deeply troubling.  We cannot roll back access, inclusion, and equal opportunity.

 

“I know the disability community has fought this fight before in 2017 against the Republicans’ attempt to repeal the ACA, in 2018 against the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh, and so many other times throughout our country’s history.

 

“Your voices, stories, and leadership are what we need to make clear what is at stake, slow and stop this nomination, and protect access to health care.

 

“Thank you—to each one of you—for all you are doing.”

 

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