“Perhaps most cruelly of all, if Donald Trump has his way, those who have complications from Covid-19 could become the new preexisting conditions,” said Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. “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 reiterated his campaign pledge to expand health care coverage by implementing a public insurance option.
“We need a public option, now more than ever, especially when more than 20 million people are unemployed,” Biden said.
Speaking at a podium emblazoned with the words “Protect and Build on the Affordable Care Act,” the former vice president touted the legislation as one of President Barack Obama’s crowning achievements that covered tens of millions of Americans.
“Testing unequivocally saves lives,” Biden said, weighing in on the controversy surrounding Trump’s coronavirus testing comments. Biden also criticized the president for putting his political image above the country’s well-being.
Holding up his black cloth mask and extolling its virtues, Biden contrasted himself with Trump’s unwillingness to be pictured in a mask.
Health care was a defining issue of the 2020 Democratic primary. Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont championed a “Medicare for All” policy and criticized Biden’s public option plan as too incremental, representing a major policy disagreement between the party’s moderate and left wings.
Democrats credit their focus on health care issues, like protecting Obamacare and patients with preexisting conditions for their 2018 success in reclaiming the House of Representatives.
This week, House Democrats unveiled a plan that is less ambitious than Biden’s platform. The House plan focuses on shoring up Obamacare, but does not include a public option and does not expand eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid.