President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the effects of a lack of adequate COVID-19 emergency funding for state and local governments may increase the odds that Republicans will work with him on health care legislation and other legislation.
Biden talked about his legislative strategy after he made remarks, in Wilmington, about efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to have the U.S. Supreme Court strike down all of the Affordable Care Act. The court heard oral arguments on an ACA constitutionality case, Texas v. California, earlier in the day.
“This case is the latest attempt by the far right ideologues to do what they repeatedly failed to do for a long time, in the courts, in Congress, in the court of public opinion. over the last decade to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said.
- A link to a video of Biden’s remarks about the Affordable Care Act is available here.
- An article about what Biden said Monday about COVID-19 is available here.
Congress has repeatedly rejected efforts to kill the ACA, and surveys show that the ACA continues to have strong support from the American people, Biden said.
Surveys also show that Republicans strongly support the ACA provisions that protect people with preexisting conditions, Biden said.
“When a family is faced with the awful news of a child’s diagnosis with leukemia, or a mom forced to battle against breast cancer, an accident that leaves loved ones unable to live the life they’ve always known, it stops your heart,” Biden said. “At that moment, the very last thing on your mind, the very last thing should be on your mind, is whether you can afford the treatment,” Biden said.
Biden — who has lost a son to cancer, and who has undergone brain surgery twice, for aneurysms — said of his family that, “We have been, unfortunately, significant consumers of health care.”
Biden said he would protect other Americans’ access to health care the way he protects his own family.
“That starts by building on the Affordable Care Act, with the dramatic expanding of health care coverage and bold steps to lower health care cost,” Biden said.
Biden gave no details himself, but he said he wants his team to tackle the details now, so that his administration can hit the ground running on health policy issues.
“Come January, we’re going to work quickly with Congress to dramatically ramp up health care protections, get Americans universal coverage, and lower health care cost, as soon as humanly possible,” Biden said.
A reporter later asked Biden how he expects to work with Congress, given that Democrats appear to be on track to have a narrower majority in the House, and that the Senate may continue to be under Republican control.