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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attacked Donald Trump for directing his administration to ask the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a filing with the high court, the Trump administration has reaffirmed its position that the ACA, also known as “Obamacare,” in its entirety is illegal because Congress in 2017 eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to purchase medical insurance.
Although Trump and his Republican allies have long tried to kill Obamacare, Biden said trying to do so while thousands of Americans are being sickened and are dying from COVID-19 amounts to “cruelty.”
“And Donald Trump will file in the Supreme Court today an attempt to strip away health care coverage from tens of millions of families in the United States. Strip away their peace of mind away from more than 100 million people with pre-existing conditions,” Biden said at a campaign stop in the Lancaster, Pa., area. “If he succeeds, more than 23 million Americans will lose their coverage overnight, including nearly a million Pennsylvanians. Insurance could once again discriminate or deny services or drop coverage for people living with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, and so much more.
“Perhaps most cruelly of all, if Donald Trump has his way, those who have complications from COVID-19 could become the new pre-existing conditions. Some survivors will experience lasting health impacts like lung scarring and heart damage. And if Donald Trump prevails in court, insurers would be allowed once again to strip away coverage, jack up premiums, simply because of the battle they survived fighting coronavirus,” Biden added. “Those survivors, having struggled and won the fight of their lives, would have their peace of mind stolen at that moment they needed it most. They would live their lives caught in a vice 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.
“You know, I have called on Donald Trump many times to withdraw his lawsuit. Today, I’m renewing that call. Mr. President, drop the lawsuit. Stop trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Stop taking away people’s health care and their peace of mind. Now, more than ever, stop trying to steal their peace of mind,” Biden said. “I cannot comprehend the cruelty that’s driving him to inflict this pain on the very people he is supposed to serve. You know, one of the families the Affordable Care Act has delivered peace of mind to is the Ritters, who live not far from here in Mannheim, Pa.”
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