Welcome to Wednesday’s Overnight Health Care.
It’s the final day of questioning in Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate confirmation hearing and she has spoken about severability, a key issue in the ongoing Affordable Care Act lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Republicans argue that it’s very unlikely the Supreme Court will overturn the health care law. And the CDC says small gatherings are leading to more COVID-19 cases.
Supreme Court tea leaf reading: Barrett indicates ObamaCare could survive mandate being struck down
At Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearings, Judge Amy Coney Barrett did not say how she would rule in the ObamaCare case that will be before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10, but she noted that judges generally try to save the underlying law when possible.
“The presumption is always in favor of severability,” Barrett said in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamFive takeaways from Barrett’s Supreme Court grilling Barrett says she did not strike down ObamaCare in moot court case Ted Cruz asks Jim Carrey for copy of his ‘hellbound’ Cruz artwork MORE (R-S.C.).
Graham appeared to signal he thought ObamaCare could be saved, even if the individual mandate is struck down, as he pressed Barrett on whether the “main thing” was that there was a “presumption” to save an underlying law. Barrett replied: “That’s correct.”
“I want every conservative in the nation to listen to what she just said. The doctrine of severability presumes and its goal is to preserve the statue if that is possible,” Graham added.
When Barrett agreed that it was “true” that judges try to preserve the overall law when weighing if a provision can be removed, one of the key points of debate in the looming ObamaCare case, Graham added: “That’s the law, folks.”
Read more here.
Relatedly….Republicans say the Supreme Court won’t toss ObamaCare
Senate Republicans are downplaying the chances that the Supreme Court will strike down ObamaCare as Democrats seek to hammer the GOP on the issue ahead of the elections.
Republicans — who have spent the past decade trying to eradicate the 2010 law — are dismissing this possibility of the lawsuit succeeding. They argue that Democrats are blowing the chances of the challenge prevailing out of proportion, noting that legal experts across the spectrum have called the lawsuit’s arguments weak.
“No one believes the Supreme Court is going to strike down the Affordable Care Act,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to .2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on ‘targeted’ relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records Overnight Health Care: Barrett says she’s ‘not hostile’ toward Affordable Care Act | Nominee says she doesn’t classify Roe v Wade as ‘superprecedent’ | Eli Lilly pauses study of COVID-19 treatment over safety concerns Barrett declines to say if Trump can pardon himself MORE (R-Ky.)…