Local doctor testifies in Supreme Court nomination hearing


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A local doctor testified virtually for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today as part of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Dr. Fahan Bhatti is a family physician in Lansing. He is also CEO of the nonprofit Care Free Medical, which provides health care to people in Lansing who otherwise would not be able to get it.

“I was excited, honored, obviously like the highest honor I’ve ever had in my profession career thus far,” said Bhatti.

He shared stories with senators today about patients who struggled to get medical care, but were able to get healthy and enter the workforce thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion it provides.

“It was a great honor to go and speak on behalf of my patients which is really what this is about, the patients that I serve and the tens of millions of Americans that are like them and that are maybe only one medical bill away from bankruptcy,” said Bhatti.

Many of those in favor of the Affordable Care Act are afraid Judge Barrett will imperil that act.

“I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act. I’m just here to apply to the law and to adhere to the rule of law,” said Judge Amy Coney Barrett during Tuesday’s hearing.

Bhatti also warned that eliminating the Affordable Care Act would open the door for insurance companies to refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions, including complications from COVID-19.

Bhatti wasn’t the only Michigan resident at today’s hearings, Amanda Rauh-Beiri, an associate at the Law Firm of Miller Canfield, worked as a law clerk with Judge Barret.

“She’s a brilliant thinker she analyses and writes about legal issues with striking precision, she is patient, thoughtful and compassionate,” said Rauh-Beiri.

After Bhatti testified, he said people from around the country started harassing him because they were unhappy with his testimony.

“I had people all day long who I’ve obviously never met, attacking me personally, on my personal Facebook page and twitter and some of those same people googled my name and called my clinic Care Free medical and harassed my staff,” said Bhatti. He says he’s still happy with his testimony and is thankful to have been apart of the hearing.

If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed as a new Supreme Court Justice, one of the first cases she is likely to hear involves the Affordable Care Act. It is scheduled to go before the court just days after the election.

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