(Alabama Political Reporter) – Alabama Sen. Doug Jones on Wednesday expressed concerns that the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, could be overturned by the Supreme Court in the coming weeks and that is what President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Jones’s opponent, Tommy Tuberville, want to happen.
“If the Trump administration, Mitch McConnell and Tommy Tuberville have their way, it would all go away,” Jones said. “I am very concerned about the loss of the Affordable Care Act as it faces a Supreme Court test in a few weeks.”
Jones said Alabama would benefit from expanding Medicaid.
“Alabama lost out on billions of dollars, and it would have helped people in this state so much had they put their politics aside, had they put the Republican power politics aside down in Montgomery, and expanded Medicaid and given good health care coverage to so many people in the state — over 300,000 people,” Jones said.
“14.8 million people across this country have benefited through expanded Medicaid,” Jones claimed. “Alabama is not one of them. And it’s a shame.
“In the middle of this pandemic, we would have 300,000 to 400,000 people that would be getting better health care benefits in the middle of this health crisis,” Jones said. “If Alabama had just ponied up, put their partisan differences aside and invested in the people of Alabama’s health.”
Jones reiterated his opposition the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and said that Barrett’s confirmation could impact the Affordable Care Act.
“This nomination is nothing more than a torpedo being fired by the Trump administration to blow up the Affordable Care Act, something that they could not do legislatively, could not get enough people in the Congress to support,” Jones said.
Jones predicted that drug prices would go up if the Affordable Care Act is overturned.
“If this law struck down, count on it, if this law struck down, prescription drug prices for our seniors will go up,” Jones said. “That’s what is at stake here, folks. You know, we have got a situation here. Bottom line, ACA insurance plans prohibited from placing lifetime or annual caps. The ACA requires insurance coverage, preventative services, such as breast, colon, cervical cancer, all of those things, all of that goes away and puts it all back in the hands of the big insurance companies. We will be at their mercy without this law.”
Those with pre-existing conditions would lose protection offered by the Affordable Care Act if the law is overturned, and those adults who are under 26 would lose their health insurance coverage through their parents’ plans.
“It’s almost 20 percent to 25 percent of our population have a pre-existing condition,” Jones said. “That’s 957,000 people under the age of 65 that have a pre-existing condition that would have been deniable in the pre-Affordable Care Act, individual marketplaces. … The ACA made it illegal to deny those health insurance because of conditions.”
Jones faces a difficult re-election fight versus former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville on Nov. 3. Jones is trailing in the polls with just 27 days left until election day.
(Brandon Moseley, Alabama Political Reporter)