Statement on Justice Stephen Breyer’s Retirement

January 27, 2022
Abby Shepard

Health Care Voices Founder Laura Packard Issues Statement on Justice Stephen Breyer’s Retirement

DENVER — Yesterday, news broke that Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of this term, which ends in June. The nomination of his replacement will have significant implications for Americans’ health care, from policies like the Affordable Care Act and Medicare and Medicaid, to abortion rights and vaccine and mask mandates.

Health Care Voices Founder Laura Packard issued the following statement: 

“The Supreme Court, and those who serve on it, can make or break health care policy. Just in the past several years, the Supreme Court has issued major decisions with implications for health care that often mean the difference between life and death for thousands of Americans. As a stage-4 cancer survivor, I know this firsthand

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved my life, and while it has thus far been upheld by the Supreme Court, there is still fear that my health care–and the care millions of others rely on to survive–could be stripped from us at the whims of a handful of ultra-conservative justices revisiting settled law.”

“Unfortunately, this fear is a reality for many Americans. In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the ACA while ruling that Medicaid expansion was optional, resulting in over 2.2 million uninsured Americans in 12 states that cannot afford health care today. Most recently, the Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s vax-or-test mandate, a move that endangers the lives of millions of Americans and prolongs the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court also holds tremendous influence over reproductive rights and women’s health care. They twice blocked challenges to Texas’ extreme abortion ban, and there’s serious risk that they will gut Roe v. Wade this year, stripping Americans of their right to make their own reproductive health care decisions.”

“Justice Breyer played an important role in protecting access to health care, and it is absolutely crucial that whoever is nominated to fill Justice Breyer’s shoes is pro-health care, pro-choice, and pro-science and medicine. We urge President Biden and the Senate to act swiftly to fill this seat. The future of America’s health care hangs in the balance.”

Laura Packard is the founder of Health Care Voices, executive director of Health Care Voter, and a stage-4 cancer survivor. The Affordable Care Act saved her life. She is a co-host of Care Talk, a call-in health care show on to answer America’s health insurance questions about the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid (airing Mondays at 4:30pm ET). If you’d like to connect with Laura to discuss the Supreme Court and health care, please reach out to