Biden Blasts Trump for Trying to Cut Obamacare During a Pandemic

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

As the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in the United States, rages around the world, President Trump continues to support a lawsuit raised by several Republican attorneys general that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act and leave more than 8 million people uninsured.

In a letter released Monday to mark the 10th anniversary of former President Obama’s signing of the Affordable Care Act, former Vice President Joe Biden urged the plaintiffs to drop the Texas v. United States lawsuit. “At a time of national emergency,” Biden wrote, “which is laying bare the existing vulnerabilities in our public health infrastructure, it is unconscionable that you are continuing to pursue a lawsuit designed to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance and protection under the Affordable Care Act, including the ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums due to pre-existing conditions.”

Trump has repeatedly and falsely espoused his commitment to protecting people with preexisting conditions while working to remove their protections under Obamacare. And, as the anti-Obamacare lawsuit awaits review by the Supreme Court, the ACA remains a vital tool for ensuring that Americans have access to care during an unprecedented public health crisis.

As Kaiser Family Foundation points out, the Affordable Care Act will allow people who lose their employer-based insurance because of layoffs caused by the coronavirus to purchase coverage on the health insurance marketplace. In some cases, it’s also allowing currently uninsured Americans to get covered in anticipation of the coronavirus outbreak: Nine states, including New York, an epicenter of the pandemic, have opened special enrollment periods to allow people to sign up for insurance outside of the normal open enrollment period, which ended December 15. The Trump administration has even considered launching a national special enrollment period, the Wall Street Journal reports, allowing residents of the 32 states that rely on the federal insurance exchange, rather than state-based marketplaces, to access care.

That’s right: Trump is considering using the Affordable Care Act to provide coverage to the nearly 28 million uninsured non-elderly individuals in the United States, while at the same time backing legislation that could remove the coverage altogether.

“You have in your power the ability to make life safer, healthier, and a little bit easier for your constituents,” Biden wrote in his letter. “All you have to do is drop your support for this ill-conceived lawsuit, which is even more dangerous and cruel in this moment of national crisis.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate