The Misuse Of The Hearings

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about a statement by Senator Dick Durbin on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

The article reports:

“Take a look at the composition, the Republican composition, on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Durbin said on Sunday:

Let’s start with Texas. Senator Cornyn is in a very tight race for re-election. He’s also in a state where there are 1.7 million people who will lose their health insurance when Amy Coney Barrett votes to eliminate that program, another 12 million who have pre-existing conditions.

Now you just go down the table there. I should have started with the Chairman, Lindsey Graham, in the state of South Carolina. He has 242,000 who will lose their insurance if Amy Coney Barrett eliminates the Affordable Care Act and 2 million who have pre-existing conditions.

Iowa, Joni Ernst, 187,000 will lose their insurance. North Carolina (Sen. Tillis), 500,000 will lose their insurance.

So you want to know the point we’re going to make? We’re making a point that this not only has an impact on the lives of so many innocent Americans, it could impact the members of this committee.

…And what we’re trying to drive home to the American people is this makes a difference in your life as to whether or not you have health insurance, whether or not, with a preexisting condition you can afford health insurance.

And we believe that, once the Republican voters across this country wake up to the reality of the strategy, many of them are going to say to their senators, listen, this is not what we bargained for. We may be conservative, but we’re not crazy. Our family needs health insurance protection,” Durbin said.

I mean, it’s understandable people are skeptical of the Republican message and are fearful of what’s going to happen if this Supreme Court nominee goes through and threatens their very health insurance.

There are a few problems with these statements. First of all, if the Supreme Court is making laws, then the legislative branch has neglected its responsibilities. Secondly, a confirmation hearing is not the appropriate place to grandstand and play politics. Senators have a job to do. They need to do it without a lot of political posturing. Thirdly, the confirmation hearing for a Supreme Court justice should not be about specific issues–it needs to be about the qualifications of the nominee.

Just for the record, there is a replacement for ObamaCare. It includes taking care of people with pre-existing conditions.

Just a note about the Affordable Care Act that the Democrats seem so intent on defending. In 2017 Forbes reported:

The data allow us to break down the pre- and post-ACA changes by age, individual vs. family, and plan type. Overall, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) premiums actually decreased 4.6% in the four years before the ACA reforms came into effect (that is, from 2009 to 2013), but increased 46.4% in the first four years under the ACA. Point-of-Service (POS) premiums decreased 14.9% before the ACA, and increased a whopping 66.2% afterwards. Premiums for the more common Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans increased 15% in the four years before the ACA, and 66.2% afterwards.

Why in the world would we want to continue that?