Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has packaged herself as a Republican who votes with the Democrats upon significant matters. The trouble is that she talks a good talk, but when it gets down to the wire, she frequently votes with Republicans, such as voting in Supreme Court Justice and alleged sexual predator Brett Kavanaugh. Now, Collins is saying she will vote against one of Donald Trump’s judge nominees, and here is why.
POTUS nominated Chad Readler for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The problem with this man is that he was a lead attorney for the Department of Justice (DOJ) against key aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare). Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, which the Democrats criticized.
Specifically, Readler argued against insurance companies covering people who had pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, nearly anything can be considered a pre-existing condition, such as giving birth. That allows the insurance industry to automatically disqualify over 25 percent of the people in the country.
A child who had cancer as a toddler but was totally cured could not purchase insurance at a reasonable rate for the rest of his life. Insurance companies would automatically disqualify someone with diabetes among many other common diseases.
Senate Republicans have sided with their party in order to provide insurance companies, which are major donors, significantly larger profits. What they seem to be ignoring is that their voters are very fond of their existing coverage. Democrats vote for the interests of individuals, so their pathway has been clear. Hopefully, Senator Collins will remain strong and other members of her party will join her.
Collins has consistently defended the ACA, which is especially important now another Republican defender of the ACA Senator John McCain (R-AZ) passed away. She released a statement where she announced her intent and the reasoning behind voting against Readler, according to CNN:
‘As the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Mr. Readler was both a lead attorney and policy advisor in the Department’s decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act, including its provisions protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions. Rather than defend the law and its protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions — such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease — Mr. Readler’s brief in Texas v. United States argued that they should be invalidated.’
The Democrats have been filibustering Readler, because he defended removing pre-existing conditions provisions. At this time, Collins is the only Republican to announce her intentions. All Democrats will oppose the nominee.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said at a press conference:
‘One of the most dangerous decision to come out of the Trump administration in the last two years, was to not defend the Constitutionality of protecting pre-existing conditions in court.’
Schumer warned Republicans who supported removing coverage for pre-existing conditions would pay a price, if they vote for Readler.
‘A vote to confirm Mr. Readler is very simply an endorsement of the law suit to eliminate pre-existing conditions.’
Republican whip Senator John Thune (R-SD) was not certain that members on his side of the aisle would hold firm for the nominee. He said:
‘Hopefully we’ll have enough.’
At a later point, he felt more confident about the nominee passing muster.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.