President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to defend the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, the public health insurance program introduced when he was a deputy to President Barack Obama. Biden has intended to stand behind the Act as Supreme Court has been moved to hear against the law. The Democrat said the move to strike down the law by “far-right ideologues” made to undermine public’s access to healthcare. The comments at a time when United States battles with COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats made protecting the law as a key campaign promise.
What did the President-elect say?
“This case represents the latest attempt by the far-right ideologues to do what they have repeatedly failed to do for a long time,” Biden said in a speech where he addressed the Supreme Court case that opened with oral arguments on Tuesday.
There have been numerous attempts by Trump to scrap the Act but have been rejected by Congress and in previous court cases.
“Now, in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has affected more than 10 million Americans….these ideologues are once again trying to strip health coverage away from the American people.”
Healthcare has been a key issue for voters even before the coronavirus pandemic that helped the party win a majority in the house of Representatives in 2018 mid-term elections. ACA: Affordable Care Act has remained popular overall according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Poll in October. The report suggested that 55% of Americans supported the programs. Another report from Pew Research Center from Sep found 63% of US adults think the state has a responsibility to provide health coverage for all – an increase form 59% last year. Biden noted that the nation is “more united on this issue than divided”.
“This effort to bypass the will of the American people, the verdict of courts in the past, the judgments of Congress, in my view, is simply cruel and needlessly divisive,” he said of the court case – and said that regardless of the outcome, his administration would work to expand public health coverage when he takes office.
Answering a question about the transition from the current White House administration, Biden said things were already “well underway”.
“I think it’s an embarrassment,” he said of the president’s lack of concession. “I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
The Democrat said he saw not need to consider a legal action at this point of time. He further said that he had talked with six world leaders and have let them know “America’s back – we’re going to be back in the game.”
Addressing GOP incumbent President directly, he said: “Mr. President, I look forward to speaking with you.”
Affordable Care Act
On Tuesday, before the Supreme Court a group of liberal states led by California and a group of conservative states led by Texas appeared to protect and repeal the act respectively. The key issue is whether the Obamacare’s requirement for people to have insurance or pay a tax penalty is constitutional or illegal.
Through Republican were able to repeal the penalty in 2018, the mandate to buy health insurance is still technically part of the legislature piece drafted by Obama administration.
Conservative States demand the repealing of Obamacare. The complainants in this case are of the view that without the tax, the mandate is illegal and thus want the whole law to be overturned. The defendants think that law the act is constitutional even in the absence of penalty.