In 2018 Judge Barrett ruled for a major drug company that was credibly accused of gravely harming a patient 

Judge Barrett would likely overturn the ACA, which would increase prescription drug costs and put insurance companies back in charge of patients’ care

Impact of a confirmation: Patients forced to pay for vaccinations, other preventive care

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, in advance of next week’s Zoom meeting “hearing” of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Accountable.US released the following statement and research highlighting Judge Barrett’s clear record of prioritizing the drug and insurance industries over patients as well as the devastating impact her confirmation would have on patients and families across the country. 

“As the Senate rushes hearings on a nomination for a Supreme Court seat that should absolutely not be filled right now, patients and families across the country need to know where Judge Barrett stands, how she puts corporations ahead of them, and how their health care is at risk if she is confirmed,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US.

“Judge Barrett had an opportunity to put patient safety first, but instead she sided with big pharma. And given Judge Barrett’s clear opposition to the ACA, a vote to confirm her is a vote to increase drug costs for seniors, end protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, and even force patients to once again pay for basic preventive care like vaccines — all in the middle of a pandemic.” 

Background: Judge Amy Coney Barrett is good for drug and insurance companies, bad for patients

  • Judge Barrett Ruled In Favor Of A Major Pharma Company Over A Woman Who Was Forced To Get A Hysterectomy Following A Faulty IUD. A woman had a Teva IUD implanted in 2007, and sought to have it removed in 2013. During the procedure it became clear that at some point a piece had broken off and was lodged in the woman’s uterus, necessitating a hysterectomy. The woman was suing Teva under a product liability claim. Barrett wrote the opinion affirming the District court’s decision to dismiss the case, the outcome sought by Teva, based on lack of expert testimony. [Accountable.us report, 9/29/20]

    • Cheryl Dalton Sued Teva After Part Of Her IUD, Either Before Or During Removal, Became Lodged In Her Uterus And Required A Hysterectomy For Full Removal. “In 2007, Dalton’s doctor implanted a ParaGard Intrauterine Device (‘IUD’) in her uterus. An IUD is a form of long-term birth control, and the one Dalton used is manufactured, marketed, and distributed by a group of corporate affiliates whom we will collectively call ‘Teva.’ It is not clear what role each of those corporate affiliates plays in relation to this IUD, but this appeal does not require us to sort that out. Dalton became dissatisfied with the IUD in 2013 and asked her doctor to remove it. The doctor did so by grasping the IUD’s strings with a ring forcep and pulling the IUD down. The procedure, however, removed only part of the IUD. A piece had broken off either before or during the removal, and that piece was now lodged in her uterus. Dalton’s doctor advised her that removing the remaining portion of the IUD would require a hysterectomy.” [United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 17-1990, Cheryl Dalton v. Teva North America, et al., No. 17-1990, 6/4/18]
       
    • Dalton Did Not Provide Expert Testimony In The Case, Arguing The “Causation Issue Was So Straightforward That Expert Testimony Was Unnecessary.” “Under the case-management plan submitted by the parties and adopted by the district court, Dalton had until November 18th to disclose any expert witness and serve the expert witness report required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2). When Dalton made no expert disclosures, Teva moved for summary judgment. It argued that Indiana law requires expert testimony to show causation in products liability actions, and Dalton’s failure to procure any meant that she could not prove an essential element of her claims. Dalton responded that the causation issue was so straightforward that expert testimony was unnecessary.” [United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 17-1990, Cheryl Dalton v. Teva North America, et al., No. 17-1990, 6/4/18]
       
    • Barrett Wrote The Majority Opinion Which Held A Woman Needed To Provide Expert Testimony In Her Suit Against The Pharmaceutical Company For A Faulty IUD. [United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 17-1990, Cheryl Dalton v. Teva North America, et al., No. 17-1990, 6/4/18]
       
  • Judge Barrett has Criticized Both Major Rulings that Upheld the ACA: NFIB v. Sebelius (2012) and King v. Burwell (2015). Of the 2012 decision, she wrote: “Chief Justice Roberts pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.” She went on to suggest that Justice Scalia’s view in dissent, “that the entire ACA should have been thrown out, was the correct approach according to the “statutory textualism to which most originalists subscribe.” In 2015, she praised the dissent in King v. Burwell, saying it had “the better of the legal argument.” [Demand Justice fact sheet, accessed 10/8/20]
     
  • Judge Barrett Overturning the ACA Would Increase Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors and Families. If the ACA is struck down the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened and seniors would have to pay more for prescription drugs. And requirements that insurance companies cover prescription drugs and maternity care would end. [Protect Our Care fact sheet, accessed 10/8/20]
     
  • Judge Barrett Overturning the ACA Would Mean 138 Million Americans Could Be on the Hook for Preventive Care Currently Covered by Insurance Companies, Including Vaccinations. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 138 million Americans, most of whom have employer coverage. [Protect Our Care fact sheet, accessed 10/8/20]
     
  • Judge Barrett Overturning the ACA Would Eliminate Protections for Patients with Pre-existing Conditions, Including COVID-19. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. If the ACA is overturned,  insurance companies could have the license to do this again. [Protect Our Care fact sheet, accessed 10/8/20]

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