Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Republican rush to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court could spell the end of Obamacare, but that she opposes increasing the size of the court in response.
In an interview taped for the Bloomberg Equality Summit to take place on Wednesday, Clinton cited Ginsburg’s reported last wish — that the seat she had held since 1993 remain vacant until the presidential election was decided.
“She was offering a measured opinion that’s in the best interest of the country and the court to let the election go forward,” said Clinton, who was the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
She acknowledged that Republicans appear to have the votes to confirm an appointment from President Donald Trump before the Nov. 3 election.
A decision by Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to go forward with confirming a nominee is a “very unfortunate display of partisan power to push through whoever the president nominates,” Clinton said.
She said she wouldn’t, however, favor a strategy being discussed by some Democrats to increase the size of the court in the event they win control of the Senate and White House to dilute the conservative majority. She called that idea “a step too far.”
The 2016 Democratic standard bearer said her party should be “absolutely clear what’s really at stake and first and foremost in this case is health care,” noting that the high court is scheduled to hear a case on the Obama administration’s signature health care legislation shortly after the election.
“It really speaks to the fervent desire of Republicans under Trump and Mitch McConnell to get rid of the Affordable Care Act,” Clinton said. “What that means is for millions of Americans, their cost will go up, if they can even get insurance.”
Clinton framed the high court and health care battles in terms of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Having the seat filled right now, rather than waiting until we know who the president is, may well mean the end of the ACA and millions of Americans who have been exposed to Covid-19 will have pre-existing conditions that won’t be covered,” she said.