Joe Biden expected to make new healthcare push after Trump’s ‘slow down the testing’ comment

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JUNE 24, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University’s student center in Dover, Delaware, on June 5, 2020. – Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden and his presidential campaign plan to make a new push on health care and protecting the Affordable Care Act this week — including at an in-person campaign event in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Thursday — on the heels of President Donald Trump’s recent comments about slowing coronavirus testing that undermine unanimous guidance from public health experts that more testing is key to containing the virus.

The former vice president’s fresh pivot to health care comes days after Trump publicly said he had asked his administration to “slow the testing down” on Covid-19, since fewer tests mean fewer confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The campaign hopes to drive home its message on the Affordable Care Act both nationally and in key battleground states in the coming days, a Biden aide said. An important part of the messaging will also be about pointing out benefits of Obamacare for Black and Brown Americans, the aide added.

The Biden aide said it is “unconscionable” that the Trump administration wants to weaken Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic and when millions are out of work. Biden is planning on meeting with “families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act” tomorrow in Lancaster, according to a campaign advisory for the event.

This meeting comes as the Trump administration is expected to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, and although the case will not be heard until next term, Democrats will be looking to see what the Justice Department will say about pre-existing conditions.

On a Biden campaign call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Raul Ruiz of California made the case for the Affordable Care Act, disparaging the Trump administration for trying to repeal the health care bill.

“As Vice President Biden and so many others have made it clear, Trump’s deadly move comes at a time when there is still so much work left to do,” Ruiz said. “Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee hit the Trump administration for its expected Supreme Court filing on Obamacare at a fundraiser Monday, telling donors, “Just imagine if Trump wasn’t still in court trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

The Democratic presidential primary focused intently on the issue of health care as progressives pushed for Medicare for All. Biden opposed Medicare for All throughout the race and proposed a public option instead.

At a fundraiser for Biden Tuesday evening, former President Barack Obama defended his namesake and referred to the ACA as something that was always designed to be a “starter home” — “a foundation to build off of. We knew it wasn’t perfect. It was what we could get at the time.”


Courtesy/Source: CNN