We, the undersigned 20 healthcare advocacy organizations, write to oppose the confirmation of Cory Wilson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. No senator who professes to care about the health and well-being of their constituents, including protecting people with preexisting conditions, can support Wilson’s confirmation.
According to Protect Our Care, if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalidated, 20 million Americans would lose health coverage. The ACA also made clear that insurers can no longer deny or drop coverage because of a preexisting condition – a provision impacting 135 million Americans. Nearly 12 million Americans will have to pay millions more for drugs because the prescription drug donut hole will be reopened. The ACA also prohibited discrimination against women and LGBTQ people – ending insurance practices that charged women more for identical care and denied care altogether to some LGBTQ people. The ACA also greatly improved coverage of and access to health care services, including contraception and maternity care, especially for communities of color and those with intersecting identities.
Yet, after numerous failed legislative attempts to strip healthcare protections, President Trump and conservatives across the country are committed to using the courts to continue their relentless attacks. President Trump has made clear that he would appoint judges to the federal court who will take away health care for millions. He said, “my judicial appointments will do the right thing unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on Obamacare.”
Cory Wilson meets Trump’s litmus test, and we have no doubt his commitment to undermining the law will put the health of millions at stake should he, as a judge, encounter litigation challenges to the ACA.
Wilson called the law, which among other provisions protects people with preexisting conditions, “illegitimate” and “perverse.” He encouraged the Supreme Court to invalidate it, stating, “[f]or the sake of the Constitution, I hope the Court strikes down the law.” Wilson also called the ACA “big intrusive government,” and said, “Obamacare is less about healthcare than it is about redistribution of wealth and power.”
Wilson also openly fought Medicaid expansion in Mississippi. Because Wilson’s position was successful, the state refused to expand Medicaid and roughly 100,000 Mississippians who would have qualified under the expansion went without critical health coverage.
Our concerns, moreover, are not merely hypothetical. Right now, there is a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ACA. This challenge was recently kept alive by judges on the Fifth Circuit – the very circuit where Wilson would serve. And, after nearly a decade of unrelenting legal challenges, it is easy to imagine future lawsuits emerging even if the present one is unsuccessful.
As a federal judge, Cory Wilson will have the power to determine the rights and legal protections of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In some instances, an individual’s liberty, or very life, may be in his hands. Someone so glib about the health and welfare of his fellow citizens should not be given such awesome power. We strongly encourage you to oppose his confirmation.
The undersigned organizations:
Alliance for Justice
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Health Care for America Now (HCAN)
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Action Network
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Women’s Law Center
People for the American Way
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Protect Our Care
Silver State Equality-Nevada