In a Jacksonville media call on behalf of presidential nominee Joe Biden Tuesday, Florida’s leading Democrat warned that the President’s Supreme Court pick could destroy the Affordable Care Act.
Nikki Fried, the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, was joined by candidate Donna Deegan in one of a series of regional Biden events ahead of the first debate between Biden and President Donald Trump Tuesday night.
Fried, who is “looking at” a 2022 run for Governor against Ron DeSantis, sounded like her party’s standard bearer throughout the call, issuing dire warnings about Trump’s nomination to fill the seat rendered vacant by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s death.
Fried said Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, puts the ACA in “extreme danger.”
“She has a written track record of disagreeing with the Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act,” Fried warned. “This is not a theoretical fight.”
With Senate Republicans expected to vote on the nomination before the end of October, however, it’s possible that the future of the ACA may be determined before Election Day votes are cast.
When asked about that, Fried acknowledged the ACA is in “peril” regardless of what happens in the Presidential election given the projected ideological skein of the court, but that Biden offers a backstop for the Obama-era legislation.
“Certainly, this is obviously something that we are very concerned about. But with Joe Biden, there’s an opportunity that if the court strikes down ACA or parts of it then we have an opportunity to go back and make legislative changes if, you know, God forbid that ends up being the case.”
Deegan, a cancer survivor running on a platform of maintaining and strengthening the ACA, said the White House worked to “chip away at the Affordable Care Act” at the expense of people.
“We have never been in a situation where the Affordable Care Act was under this much peril,” Deegan warned.
Polling in Duval County reveals a presidential race going down to the wire. A St. Pete Polls survey released Monday showed Biden up by just 1.5 points, an advantage rooted solely in a 13 point lead over Trump with independent voters.
Deegan’s race, unhappily for her, is less competitive. A St. Pete Polls survey of her 4th Congressional District challenge to Republican Rep. John Rutherford showed her down by more than 25 points in a district that is nearly 50% Republican.