Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is making it clear that his opposition to the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court centers on the possibility that President Trump's high court nominee could potentially cast the decisive vote to strike down the national health care law.
The former vice president - speaking Monday at a campaign event in Toledo, Ohio as the nearly week long confirmation hearing got underway in the Senate Judiciary Committee - rhetorically asked why "in the middle of this pandemic, why do Republicans have time to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court instead of providing the significant economic need for localities?"
Answering his own question, Biden said "I'll tell you why. It's about finally getting his wish to wipe out the Affordable Care Act."
Biden was referring to a case the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a week after the election which could determine the fate of the landmark national health care law passed under the Obama-Biden administration and best known as Obamacare.
The president last month nominated Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The conservative Barrett, 48, currently serves as a judge on the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
The death of the 87-year old Ginsburg - a liberal-leaning justice who was a trailblazer and a strong advocate for gender equality and civil rights -- has sparked a fierce partisan fight. Trump and Senate Republicans are moving quickly - with Election Day just over three weeks away - to confirm Barrett and tilt the high court ideologically further to the right.
Biden and fellow Democrats have made the threat to the Affordable Care Act - and the possibility that millions of Americans could lose their healthcare amid the worst pandemic in a century - the public focus of their opposition to Barrett's confirmation.
"I tell you what, we're already in the midst of a real fight here. Everyone knows in 28 days, 20 million Americans may lose their health care. This nominee says she wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, the president wants to get rid of the Affordable Care Act," Biden said earlier Monday as he boarded a flight from Delaware to Ohio, a crucial general election battleground state.
"Let's keep our eye on the ball, this is about whether or not in less than one month Americans are gonna lose their health insurance," the former vice president added.
Nearly two thirds of voters questioned in a Fox News national poll conducted Oct. 3-6 said they would vote to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, with 32% saying they'd vote to repeal the health care law.
Biden - in his comments - also emphasized that Barrett's Catholic faith "should not be considered" during the confirmation hearing.
"No, her faith should not be considered," Biden told reporters. "I have no questions about her faith," repeated the former vice president, who is also Catholic.
If elected, Biden would become only the second Catholic president of the United States, 60 years after Democratic Sen. John F. Kennedy made history as the first Catholic U.S. president.
Republicans have accused some Democrats and some in the media of attacking Barrett over her faith.