By Scott Hounsell | RedState
(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)
The American Bar Association, known for rating judicial
appointments prior to their confirmations, has issued a letter to the US Senate
Judiciary Committee to offer their rating for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and
Democrats will not be too happy about it.
The ABA, which Chuck Schumer has previously identified as
the “Gold Standard” of judicial ratings, has rated Barrett as “well-qualified”
for her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has
completed its evaluation of the professional qualifications of Judge Amy Coney
Barrett, who has been nominated by the President to be an Associate Justice on
the Supreme Court of the United States. As you know, the Standing
Committee confines its evaluation to the qualities of integrity, professional
competence, and judicial temperament. A substantial majority of the
Standing Committee determined that Judge Barrett is “Well Qualified,”
and a minority is of the opinion that she is “Qualified” to serve on the
Supreme Court of the United States. The majority rating represents the
Standing Committee’s official rating.”
“Well Qualified.” That certainly is going to fly in
the face of many of the attacks you can expect from Democrats in the coming
weeks as Barrett advances to confirmation. This follows the same pattern
for both Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch, both of whom were rated “Well
Qualified” by the ABA as well. Both Justices Kagan and Sotomayor also
received “Well-Qualified” ratings from the ABA.
This is likely to ruffle some feathers with Democrats,
who would have liked some way of delaying or disqualifying Barrett’s
confirmation to SCOTUS. Fortunately, it will push Barrett’s nomination
further to certainty as Democrats have accepted these ratings in the past as
legitimate and helpful.
Dianne Feinstein Opens Barrett Hearings With a Great Big Whopper About Preexisting Conditions
BY STACEY LENNOX |
P J Media
The Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on
the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett today, and Ranking Member
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) let everyone know what the Democrat
members’ focus would be. On November 10, the Supreme Court will begin hearings
on Texas v. California, which challenges Obamacare’s
constitutionality. Feinstein was careful to refer to the legislation as the
Affordable Care Act.
Judge Barrett has gone on the record stating that she
felt Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion in National Federation of
Independent Business v. Sebelius went beyond the ACA legislation’s
scope to preserve the statute. For those who don’t remember, he classified the
individual mandate as a “tax.” As the federal government has the ability to
levy a tax, this fell within the scope of federal power.
The Trump administration has repealed the individual
mandate, thereby leaving the legislation on tenuous legal ground. The questions before the Court are: (1) Whether the
unconstitutional individual mandate to purchase minimum essential coverage is
severable from the remainder of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
and (2) whether the district court properly declared the ACA invalid in its
entirety and unenforceable anywhere.
Feinstein also previewed that these hearing will be full
of emotional, albeit questionable, stories. As the camera panned to the full room,
you could see large pictures behind each Democrat senator, representing tearful
stories, to be sure. The stories bring into stark relief the difference between
Democrats’ and Republicans’ views of the Court. Emotional arguments may be
compelling, but the Court should be deciding whether a law is constitutional.
To begin the emotional argument, Feinstein launched the
preexisting condition lie:
Feinstein asserts that more than 130 million Americans will lose preexisting coverage if the ACA is repealed. Not all Americans will lose preexisting condition coverage. In the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), employer-based plans were barred from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on health status, including gender and age.
It also put into place rules about preexisting
conditions. Pregnancy is no longer allowed to be considered one, and it only
applies to conditions if a person is diagnosed within the six-month period
before obtaining coverage. The maximum waiting period to receive coverage for
the condition is 12 months. If you change employers, as long as the coverage
gap is not greater than 63 days, it is illegal to impose any preexisting
coverage exclusion on your new employer plan. COBRA coverage is also mandated
if you leave or lose the job that provided insurance to ensure you can cover
any gap greater than 60 days at your employer’s full negotiated premium.
Further, according to FactCheck.org, 6% of Americans get their insurance through
the individual market. Meanwhile, 49% get their insurance through
employer-based plans. Those Americans would immediately receive the protections
under HIPPA for preexisting conditions. HIPPA could easily be amended to
eliminate waiting periods in the six-month window that currently exists. The
remaining Americans are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, which have their own
rules regarding coverage.
Repealing Obamacare would also allow insurance companies
to provide a wider range of plan designs. Lower-cost catastrophic plans with
discounts for preventative care or prescriptions may be attractive for many
younger individuals. The ACA makes those unavailable today outside of
short-term gaps. More choice seems like a better way to insure more people.
One of the fatal flaws for the ACA going forward is
that younger, healthier individuals do not wish to pay the premiums on
the individual market, and there is no longer a penalty for not doing so. Even
when the individual mandate was in force, it was often cheaper to pay the
penalty that the insurance premium. The so-called “Cadillac tax,” or excise tax on employer-based plans,
has also been repealed during the Trump administration. The young use less care
but pay the same premium as those who are older and sicker under Obamacare, and
the penalty on employer plans required them to fund the individual market plans
Feinstein’s other bizarre assertions about lack of care
for women is really a cover the ACA’s abortion and contraceptive coverage. Greater
freedom in plan design would either cover preventive care, or it wouldn’t.
Individuals would be able to choose among options. Preventive care would go by
the current medical practice guidelines for age and gender. Insurers have a lot
of financial incentives to offer and encourage these services. Early detection
leads to less expensive care.
Another strange assertion by Feinstein was the story she
told about her constituent. According to her recitation, Christina Garcia was
thrilled to obtain coverage through the ACA in 2010. That is amazing because
California did not open their exchange until 2013 for enrollment in 2014. Before that, there were
some subsidies available that maxed out at $5,200 per year. Also, acute
surgeries, like C-sections, are not considered preexisting conditions that
would cause someone to be denied coverage as Feinstein asserted in this
In reality, the ACA caused some tragic stories for those
in employer-based plans and those on the individual market. As many have
asserted, health insurance is not healthcare. Premiums and deductibles have
risen dramatically over the last several years, with many employers moving to
high-deductible plans to control costs. Many people find themselves unable to
afford healthcare because their insurance, even on the open market, costs so
When you listen to Democrats’ sob stories, you can scroll
through the replies to this thread. Not only did Obama lie about keeping your
doctor, but he also lied about saving $2,500. At the end of the day, the cost
of healthcare is not at issue for SCOTUS. The only question the Court needs to
answer is whether the Constitution allows the federal government to manage
healthcare in the absence of levying a “tax.”
FACT CHECK: More People Delaying Health Care Over Costs Now Than Pre-Obamacare
BY MATT MARGOLIS | P J Media
A common myth being presented during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings is the notion that many Americans who couldn’t afford healthcare before the Affordable Care Act was passed and implemented suddenly could.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, the data suggests
otherwise. According to a Gallup survey from December 2019, 33 percent of
Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a health condition
because of the costs.
This number has remained virtually unchanged since
Obamacare was passed. In fact, the number has averaged about 30 percent since
2006, which is significantly higher than it was back in 2001, when only 19
percent of Americans said they or a family member put off treatment for a
health condition because of the cost.
Worse yet, Obamacare hasn’t improved the situation for
those with pre-existing conditions. “Reports of delaying care for a serious
condition due to costs are also up 13 points compared with last year among
Americans who report they or another household member has a ‘pre-existing
condition,'” Gallup reported. “At the same time, there has been virtually no
change in the percentage of adults without pre-existing conditions in the
household who delayed care for a serious health issue in the past year,
currently 12% versus 11% in 2018.”
Gallup does urge some caution with regard to the
four-point jump in those reporting delaying care over the previous survey.
“Most of the recent increase in reports that family members are delaying
treatment for serious conditions has occurred among self-identified Democrats,”
explains Gallup. “This is up 12 points since 2018 among Democrats, compared
with three- and five-point increases among Republicans and independents,
The partisan gap in the responses to these questions is
the largest in two decades. The reason for this, Gallup can’t say for sure. But
seeing as Gallup reported there’s been no major change in health coverage, the
sharp spike of self-identifying Democrats reporting delaying healthcare over
costs is likely done for partisan reasons, as the survey occurred in the heat
of a Democratic presidential primary.
But one thing that is clear: fewer people were delaying
medical care over costs back in 2001, and Obamacare has done nothing to reduce
the number of people delaying health care over costs. Nothing at all.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new
book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus
Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis