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As Barrett Confirmation Vote Nears, Candidates Share Healthcare Concerns

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Healthcare has been a frequent topic of debate for Daniel Gade and Mark Warner. Gade has previously called the Affordable Care Act a "bad bill." Warner has responded by criticizing Gade for wanting to repeal the law and strip protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Gade has called these attacks intentionally false and offensive.

With the United States Senate set to vote on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court this weekend, Senator Mark Warner has raised concerns about the future of the Affordable Care Act. 

The vote comes just five weeks after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Senator Mark Warner says President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed her confirmation through unfairly. He expects that, should she be confirmed by the Senate, she would vote to dismantle the ACA. 

The Supreme Court will consider a lawsuit - backed by Trump and 18 states - challenging the law’s constitutionality on November 10.

“What’s so discouraging about this, and disappointing, is if there was a plan to repeal and replace in a meaningful way, we would have seen it,” Warner said in a press call on Wednesday.

Warner says repealing the ACA with no backup plan could kick millions of Virginians with pre-existing conditions off their healthcare.

His opponent in the November election, Republican Daniel Gade, says he’d also prefer for the law to remain - although he’d make changes.

On WAMU show 1A on Wednesday, Gade said he expects the Affordable Care Act to stick around - regardless of if Barrett is confirmed as a justice.

“And so what we need to do is fix the provisions that don’t work, and keep the provisions that do,” Gade said.

He says protections for those with pre-existing conditions are good, but added that he supports more market-based options for Virginians, as opposed to public options or employer-based healthcare.

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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