McConnell “Protege” and Ernst-Backed Justin Walker Could Use Seat on Second-Highest Court to Threaten Iowans’ Health Coverage for Decades

The stakes of this election are more clear than ever today, as the health coverage of over 150,000 Iowans and health protections for 1.3 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions are put on the line by direct threats enabled by Senator Joni Ernst:

  • The Supreme Court takes up written arguments in the GOP’s effort to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act, a lawsuit made possible by the 2017 Tax Scam that Senator Ernst voted into law.
  • The U.S. Senate is beginning hearings to confirm to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Mitch McConnell’s “protégé” and Senator Ernst-backed Justin Walker, who could rip health care protections and coverage from hundreds of thousands of Iowans.

Judge Walker, who Senator Ernst voted to confirm to the federal bench last year, was deemed “unqualified” by the American Bar Association and called the Supreme Court’s upholding of the ACA “indefensible” and the “worst thing,” and is still “unhappy” with the law. But thanks to Senator Ernst and her party leaders, he’s on track to a lifetime appointment with the power to rule on health care laws for decades to come.

Today also begins written arguments in the most dangerous challenge yet to the Affordable Care Act, a Supreme Court lawsuit from Senator Ernst’s GOP allies who are “plowing ahead” to overturn the entirety of the law despite its critical protections for Iowans with pre-existing conditions and vital funding for rural hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Ernst has stood complicitly behind the suit, saying “I’m not saying whether I support it or not,” after working year after year after year to repeal the health law and leading efforts to gut coverage protections for pre-existing conditions.

“After years of failed attempts to repeal health care protections, Senator Ernst’s latest efforts prove she’ll stop at nothing to ensure health coverage is unaffordable and inaccessible for hundreds of thousands of Iowans. As she’d made clear throughout this pandemic, for Senator Ernst, politics comes first – even when Iowans’ health is on the line,” said Jeremy Busch, Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson.