Sen. Brown & Healthcare Advocates Call on Senate to Reject Judge Nominees Who Worked to Strip Ohioans of Their Rights

Trump Nominees Chad Readler and Eric Murphy will get Floor Vote in Coming Weeks; Readler Supported Efforts to Allow Insurance Companies to Deny Coverage for People with Pre-Existing Conditions; Murphy Worked to Restrict Women’s Access to Healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and health advocates from Protect our Care hosted a news conference call to call on the Senate to oppose the nominations of Chad Readler and Eric Murphy to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both Readler and Murphy have proven too extreme for Ohio, with combined records of working to roll back health care protections and strip Ohioans’ of their rights. 

Readler in particular has led efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signing a legal brief declining to defend the Affordable Care Act, and instead challenging current provisions in the law, including protections for patients with pre-existing conditions protections in the Affordable Care Act. Last December, a judge used to case to declare the ACA unconstitutional, threatening the healthcare of millions of Americans. Brown opposed both nominees when they were first announced by President Trump last year and continues to oppose their nominations today. 

“No American should be denied health care because of a pre-existing condition, or because they’re a woman, or because they cannot afford it,” said Brown. “I cannot support nominees who have actively worked to strip Ohioans of their health care rights. Special interests already have armies of lobbyists and lawyers on their side, they don’t need judges in their pockets.”  

“Chad Readler wants to go back to the days where insurance companies could deny, drop or charge more for coverage and end protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care. “Simply put, a vote for Chad Readler is a vote for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Readler tried to sabotage the ACA from within the administration, and if we put him on the court, he will be able to sabotage your care from the bench.The Senate must protect the American people’s health care by denying Chad Readler a lifetime appointment.” 

Before the Senate votes on the judge nominees, Americans deserve to understand Readler and Murphy’s records on healthcare: 

Chad Readler

Last December, a Texas judge ruled the ACA unconstitutional, threatening the healthcare of millions of Americans. At the center of this lawsuit is Chad Readler, one of President Trump’s nominees to serve on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a political appointee at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Readler signed the legal brief declining to defend the Affordable Care Act, and instead challenging current provisions in the law, including protections for patients with pre-existing conditions protections in the Affordable Care Act (Texas v Azar). 

In June 2018, Chad Readler supported efforts to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage or charge sky-high rates for people with pre-existing conditions. 

Readler signed the brief after three career attorneys with the DOJ refused. In fact, one resigned in response to the egregious action. HELP Committee Chairman, Lamar Alexander called the DOJ brief that Readler submitted “as far-fetched as any he’s ever heard.” The very next day after he signed the brief Readler was nominated by President Trump to serve as a Judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

  • More than 5 million Ohioans under age 65 have a pre-existing condition – which is nearly half the state.
  • More than 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions are at risk because of the lawsuit Readler supported, according to reporting by the Washington Post. 

More background information on Readler’s unprecedented efforts to take away healthcare for millions of Americans can be found HERE.

Eric Murphy

Working to Restrict Women’s Access to Healthcare

Murphy filed an amicus brief in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., siding with employers that sought to deny women access to healthcare as part of the Affordable Care Act. Murphy has a long history of representing employers who refused to provide access to women’s healthcare services, including the Catholic Diocese of Nashville and the University of Notre Dame in cases that were both dismissed by the respective courts for lack of standing. 

Fighting for Big Tobacco

As an attorney representing the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company, Jones Day attorney Eric Murphy actively worked to prevent a family from receiving a financial settlement after the family learned smoking cigarettes lead to their loved one’s death. After a jury had awarded the family $7.8 million, Murphy stood on the side of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and argued the appeal in front of a district court in Florida. 

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