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Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 29 Published in house by the RI ARA

July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter

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Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court Could be Major Blow to Affordable Health Care In choosing Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, the president has selected someone with a long history of ruling against working families, older employees, and access to affordable health care. Kavanaugh, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush to the D.C. Cir cuit Cour t of Appeals, was chosen from a short list of possible candidates approved by the Federalist Society, a gr oup with str ong ties to the anti-union Koch brothers. The president promised in

2015 to only appoint justices who would overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and in the past Kavanaugh has favored overturning well established Supreme Court precedents. Sign our petition urging your Senator to vote NO on Kavanaugh. A case regarding key protections for patients with preexisting conditions could be making its way to the Court soon. If confirmed, Kavanaugh may be the deciding vote in repealing the health care law and stripping affordable health

insurance away from millions. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of all Americans have at least one pre-existing condition, including 75 percent of people ages 45 to 54 and 84 percent of people between the ages of 55 to 64. Numerous Senate Democrats have vowed not to support Kavanaugh, citing his judicial record on a wide variety of issues. The Administration and the Senate Republican leadership are pushing for him to be confirmed before the next

Supreme Court session in October, but the vetting and hearing process could take much Robert Roach, Jr longer. “The President’s Supreme Court appointment will affect this country and its laws for generations,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “We must protect the rights of our oldest and most vulnerable citizens. We must reject the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.”

States Attacking ACA Would Suffer Most If Shield On Preexisting Conditions Were Axed If the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions are struck down in court, residents of the Republican-led states that are challenging the law have the most to lose. “These states have been opposed to the ACA from the beginning,” said Gerald Kominski, a senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “They’re hurting their most vulnerable citizens.” Twenty Republican state attorneys general and governors challenged the constitutionality of the ACA in federal court in February. Last month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice made the unusual decision not to defend key portions of the law against this legal challenge.

The states’ lawsuit argues that because Congress eliminated the Obamacare tax penalty for not having insurance coverage, effective next year, the entire law is unconstitutional. By extension, the suit calls on federal courts to find the health law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions unconstitutional — and Sessions agrees. Nine of the 11 states with the highest rates of preexisting conditions among adults under 65 have signed onto the lawsuit to strike down the ACA, according to data from insurance companies and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2015 data, the most recent available, were analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2016. (Kaiser

Health News, which produces California Healthline, is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) Those who support the lawsuit contend that there are other means of protecting people with preexisting conditions. “If a court strikes down the constitutionality of the ACA, there are ways to repeal and replace without Arizonans with preexisting conditions losing their coverage,” said Katie Conner, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Conner said her boss, who is party to the lawsuit, believes preexisting conditions should “always be covered.” In Arizona, more than 1 in 4 adult adults under 65 have a

preexisting condition, according to the data. The state with the highest rate of adults with preexisting conditions is West Virginia — 36 percent of those under age 65. That means that about 1 in 3 of them could have a hard time buying insurance through the individual marketplace without the ACA protections. The office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who joined the legal challenge against the ACA, declined to comment. But a spokesman for Morrisey’s reelection campaign told PolitiFact last month that “help should be provided to those who need it most, including those with preexisting conditions.”.Read More

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RI ARA July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter  

RI ARA July 22, 2018 E-Newsletter  

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