For Vice President Joe Biden, health care has long been an issue close to the heart. He made healthcare a key component of his first Senate run in 1972, spearheaded President Obama’s cancer moonshot after losing his son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, and made headlines in 2010 for correctly pointing out that the new Obamacare law was a “big f*cking deal.”
Today in an op-ed in the Washington Post, Biden made very clear just how unhappy he is with Republicans’ efforts to abandon the progress he helped to make in guaranteeing every American the right to healthcare.
“[Trump, Pence, and Congressional Republicans] want to drag us back to a time — not all that long ago — when Americans could be denied basic health care because they were unable to afford it,” Biden wrote. “That’s the reality of where we are today and it’s enough to make your blood boil.”
While he did not call out President Trump by name, Biden did take exception to one particular lie being perpetuated by his successor.
“Last week, Vice President Pence told the National Governors Association that the GOP health-care bill currently being debated in the Senate ‘strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society.’ Respectfully, that’s simply not the case,” Biden wrote, adding that their bill “eviscerates the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and guts the ACA’s promise that care like maternity and mental health and substance-use disorder services must be part of any viable health coverage system.”
This would be devastating, Biden explains to the “more than 70 million Americans rely on Medicaid, including close to 2 million veterans… [and] 39 percent of children.”
The devastating problems in the Republican plan hardly stop at Medicaid or Americans living at or near the poverty line. Biden points out that, “A middle-class family getting health insurance through a small employer could lose coverage for maternity care, mental health care, or substance-use disorder services.”
“The new bill would create two individual insurance markets: One in which insurers must cover people with preexisting conditions, and one in which they don’t. And you don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to guess what would happen next: Healthier, younger people would flock to the less expensive, unregulated market. Those remaining in the regulated market will be older and sicker, and their premiums would increase to the point that they could be left with an option for insurance that exists on paper, but not in practice.”
“If you’re young and healthy, maybe this bill means that you’d pay lower premiums. But the thing about life is that if you’re lucky, eventually you grow old, and, in the meantime, you don’t know what will happen next. In the blink of an eye, or in one phone call from a doctor, your outlook may change. And if, God forbid, you find yourself in that position one day, I hope we still have the ACA in place so you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no matter what, you can still get affordable care.”
The full op-ed can be read here. Biden’s blunt insight illustrates why it is so critical that every American take action to defeat Republicans’ self-destructive efforts to kill Obamacare and its life saving protections.
Biden sees a clear and far more genuine path for any Republican is serious about improving healthcare for the American people:
“Let’s again make the commitment that in America, health care is a right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy.”