Democrats pledge to focus on ObamaCare in battle over Supreme Court

Trump unveils his ‘America First’ health care plan

Insight from National Taxpayers Union Senior Fellow Mattie Duppler.

Democrats plan  health care — and the idea that millions could lose it —  the looming confirmation battle over President Trump's pending  nominee.

"It'll be a major focus," Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, told NBC News. "There are others."

GINSBURG DEATH CASTS FRESH UNCERTAINTY ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT'S FUTURE

Trump and other Republican leaders indicated after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death on Friday they intended to move forward with filling the court's vacancy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appears to have secured enough votes to confirm Trump's nominee, although it's still unclear whether the vote could come before the November presidential , or in the lame-duck session that takes place after the election but before the Congress starts.

It marks a reversal from 2016, when McConnell refused to hold a Senate vote on Merrick Garland, who was nominated to the court by former President Barack Obama after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. McConnell held the seat open until after the election and inauguration of Trump in 2017. Justice Neil Gorsuch was nominated and later confirmed in April 2017.

McConnell and other GOP senators contend this year is unlike 2016 because the same party controls both the White House and the Senate. At the same time, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and other top members of the party are now reversing their 2016 posture by saying the seat should be left open for the winner of the election to fill.

PELOSI ACCUSES TRUMP OF RUSHING TO FILL SUPREME COURT VACANCY TO REPEAL OBAMACARE

Trump's Supreme Court pick could have implications for a White House-backed lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care law also known as ObamaCare. The president has repeatedly indicated that he will nominate a judge who would rule against it.

The high court is slated to hear oral arguments on Nov. 10, one week after the presidential election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of fast-tracking the confirmation of his nominee in order to repeal the ACA.

“Why the president is in such a is because he’s in a hurry to overturn the Affordable Care Act. And he wants to do that,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Tuesday night at The Atlantic Festival. “The oral arguments start Nov. 10, a week after the election, and he wants to get a justice in there in time for that so they can hear the arguments and vote on it.”

Other Democrats echoed that sentiment: "If Republicans push through a Supreme Court nominee, within weeks the Affordable Care Act will be gone," Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., tweeted on Tuesday.

BIDEN WARNS FAST TRACKING SCOTUS NOMINATION WILL PLUNGE NATION 'DEEPER INTO THE ABYSS'

He added that a 6-3 court in favor of conservatives will "strike down the Affordable Care Act" and could "fundamentally change the country."

"Speaker Pelosi is right: doesn’t want to crush the virus. He wants to crush the Affordable Care Act," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said earlier in the week.

Ginsburg voted to uphold the Obama-era law in 2012 alongside the court's three other liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts. She was widely expected to do so again when the high court reviews ObamaCare for the third time.

The case was brought by a group of Republican attorneys general, spearheaded by Texas, who are arguing the individual mandate – the provision that requires Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a financial penalty – was made unconstitutional when the GOP-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the penalty to zero.

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The suit contends that if that part of ObamaCare is invalid, so is the rest of the law.

The ultimate outcome of the lawsuit will affect millions of Americans, and the repeal of the decade-old law could leave up to 32 million people without health insurance by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office report from 2017 about the effects of repealing ObamaCare.

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