Biden attacks Trump on health care, warns his administration’s attack on the ACA

The remarks were timed to coincide with the filing of legal briefs by the Trump administration and Republican attorneys general in a major lawsuit trying to rescind the ACA.

The signature domestic achievement of President Barack Obama has been a whipping post for Republicans — and a point of pride for Democrats. The insurance marketplaces created by the ACA and its expansion of Medicaid have helped insure 20 million Americans. And they’ve assumed new importance in recent months as the coronavirus has devastated the U.S. economy, causing people to lose jobs and the health benefits that came with them.

In his remarks, Biden said that some coronavirus survivors could lose their comprehensive health-care coverage if the lawsuit to overturn the ACA is successful. He also said that if the law were invalidated, insurance companies could refuse ongoing coverage of those with covid-19, deeming it a preexisting condition.

“Those survivors, having struggled and won the fight of their lives, would have their peace of mind stolen away at the moment they need it most,” Biden said. “They would live their lives caught in a vise between Donald Trump’s twin legacies: his failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus, and his heartless crusade to take health-care protections away from American families.”

Biden also railed against Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

Trump is “like a child who can’t believe this has happened to him. All his whining and self-pity,” Biden said. “Well, this pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us. And his job isn’t to whine about it, his job is to do something about it.”

Trump has stated repeatedly that he would protect preexisting conditions, though his administration has not presented any policy proposals for how it would do so. Ahead of Biden’s event on Thursday, the Trump campaign ridiculed Biden for supporting a public insurance option, which would allow Americans to buy into a government health-care plan such as Medicare.

“The public option would be a disaster, and really all it is opening the door to a government monopoly on health care,” Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign, said on a conference call with reporters. “It limits choices and reduces quality.”

Health care was a central issue during the Democratic primary, one that pitted Biden, who wants to expand the ACA, against the more liberal wing of the party, which called for a fulsome embrace of Medicare-for-all, a single-payer system.

Now that he is the presumptive nominee, Biden’s campaign has developed a general- election strategy that tries to rally the public around universal health-care coverage. He has argued that a public option is now vital as unemployment increases and people lose their employer-based health-care coverage.

He said Thursday he will outline a new proposal “in the next few weeks” to guarantee that no one would have to spend more than 8.5 percent of their income on health insurance. Poor Americans would pay even less.

During a Tuesday night fundraiser with Obama, the duo argued for building on the original measure. “Obamacare, the Affordable Care…

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