Joe Biden, following a public health briefing with advisers, said Wednesday that the Trump administration would seek to overturn the Affordable Care Act through arguments before the Supreme Court a week after the election.
Mr. Biden said the high court case could lead to the elimination of protections for patients with pre-existing conditions and an increase in premiums, and it may prevent people from accessing free Covid-19 vaccines when it’s available.
“They’re arguing that the entire law must fall which would strip 20 million Americans of their health insurance overnight and rip away protections for pre-existing conditions for more than 100 million people in the middle of an upswing of a pandemic,” he said.
Mr. Biden said the ACA was the driving force behind Mr. Trump’s selection of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was sworn into the court Monday.
“President Trump has tried everything he can on his own to sabotage the law,” Mr. Biden said. “So now, through what I’ve characterized as a craven abuse of political power, they’ve added to the court a justice who criticized Chief Justice Roberts’ previous decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.”
Justice Barrett, during her nomination hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, testified that while she had criticized the court’s 2012 opinion upholding part of the ACA, that didn’t mean she would strike it down.
“I’m not here on a mission to destroy the Affordable Care Act,” she told the committee.
President Trump has said he has a health-care plan that would take care of people with pre-existing conditions, but he hasn’t disclosed it.
Mr. Biden said Wednesday that “even if I win, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic. I’m not running on the false promise of being to end this pandemic by flipping a switch.” He said he would “start on Day One doing the right things, we’ll let science drive our decisions and we’ll deal honestly with the American people.”
During his briefing in Wilmington, Del., his hometown, Mr. Biden reviewed data on reported Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the pandemic.
Dr. David Kessler, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told Mr. Biden that the number of cases was worsening. “There’s no doubt, we are in the midst of the third wave,” Mr. Kessler said. “I don’t think anyone can tell you how high this is going to get.”
Mr. Biden said he and his wife, Jill Biden, would cast their ballots Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m going to go vote,” he said. “There are a lot of people on that ballot, not just me, but the down-ballot as well who are going to change things and make it better.”
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