Former Vice President Joe Biden heads to Pennsylvania on Thursday to spotlight a new health care push to protect the Affordable Care Act.
The presumptive Democratic nominee — during a meeting in Lancaster, Penn., with families who’ve benefited because of the national health care law — is expected to slam President Trump’s “heartless crusade” to scrap the measure best known as ObamaCare.
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Biden’s trip comes on the same day the Trump administration is expected to urge the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, which was the signature domestic achievement during his eight years as President Obama’s vice president.
And it also comes just days after the president’s controversial comments urging his own administration to “slow the testing down” amid the coronavirus pandemic (though some White House aides say the comments were made in jest).
Thursday’s stop is Biden’s tenth since Memorial Day, as he’s slowly started venturing from his home in Wilmington, Del., where he hunkered down for over two months during the height of the coronavirus outbreak. Half of those visits have been short trips to neighboring Pennsylvania, where Biden was born and which is a crucial battleground state in November’s general election.
According to excerpts released by the campaign, Biden – noting that some people who’ve contracted the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus may experience lasting health conditions such as lung scarring and heart damage – will argue that if Donald Trump has his way, complications from COVID-19 could become a new pre-existing condition … And if Donald Trump prevails in court, insurers would be allowed to strip away coverage or jack up premiums — simply because of their battle with the coronavirus.”
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Biden will also charge that some coronavirus patients will “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.”
The former vice president will also spotlight Trump’s theory that fewer tests will mean fewer cases of the coronavirus, which puts the president at odds with public health experts, who are pushing for an increase in testing to contain the virus.
Biden, according to the excerpts, will also say the president “called testing ‘a double-edged sword.’ Let’s be crystal clear about what he means by that.”
“Testing unequivocally saves lives, and widespread testing is the key to opening up our economy again — so that’s one edge of the sword,” Biden will say. “The other edge: that he thinks finding out that more Americans are sick will make him look bad. And that’s what he’s worried about. He’s worried about looking bad.”
Health care and specifically protecting Obamacare proved to be a winning issue for Democrats in 2018, as the party regained the House majority for the first time in eight years. Health care was a leading issue in the Democratic presidential primaries the past year, and the Biden campaign believes it’s a winning issue in the general election showdown against the president.