Joe Biden is coming out of retirement and traveling to Washington D.C. to help save Obamacare from Republican-led repeal efforts.
In an last-minute bid to save the Affordable Care Act, former Vice President Joe Biden will be rallying with Democrats at the Capitol on Wednesday. Democrats will be working to save Obamacare one day before the Republican-led House is expected to vote on dismantling the law.
With Biden will be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, along with other Democrats who will be making a last stand in support of Obamacare on the Capitol Hill steps at 10 a.m.
This will be Biden’s first major appearance since leaving office in January.
The event is being billed as a celebration of the seventh anniversary of Obamacare, originally signed into law on March 23, 2010. It will feature Americans who have benefited by the landmark legislation, according to POLITICO.
Pelosi is an outspoken critic of the Republican plan, which she calls “TrumpCare,” as are many health care advocates, including the American Medical Association and AARP. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Republican health care plan would have devastating effects on low income, rural, and older Americans.
Pelosi addressed the “TrumpCare” plan on CBS Face the Nation on Sunday, saying:
“What Republicans have put forth is a terrible bill — 24 million people kicked off of health insurance which the Speaker calls ‘an act of mercy.
“At the same time, they put out a budget that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney says is ‘compassionate’ to take away Meals on Wheels and give it to the Defense Department. … Compassionate acts of mercy, I don’t know what faith that is.”
The plan currently reduces subsidies provided to citizens to help them purchase insurance, but bases them on age rather than income. It removes the individual mandate to purchase coverage, according to The Hill, but it also ends the Medicaid expansion in 2020, putting both low income and older Americans to carry premium costs that are unaffordable, resulting in many choosing to simply take a gamble with their health in the face of explosively high premiums.
Pelosi also noted on Face the Nation that many of those who supported Trump in the election will be hit the hardest by out-of-reach insurance premiums:
“And what’s so strange about it all, is many of the people, many of the millions of people who are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, voted for Donald Trump.”
Pelosi also provided an official announcement of Biden’s involvement, as reported by The Washington Times:
“Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans have gained access to quality, affordable health care, and more than 155 million additional Americans who receive health insurance through their employers have benefited from the law’s historic protections.”
According to the Washington Times, Ezekiel Emanuel, a former adviser to President Obama involved in the construction of Obamacare is scheduled to join Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan and secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on Monday to review the bill before it is submitted to the Senate.
Republicans in the House of Representatives will be voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, which is the date of the law’s anniversary. Republicans in favor of the repeal have been scrambling to ensure votes for the bill, but even many GOP representatives are skeptical of the proposal put forth by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The GOP will need to get 216 votes to pass the new bill, and passage is still uncertain. According to National Review, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows stated that there were 40 House Republicans who will not vote for the bill as it stands. If there are more than 21 Republican “no” votes, the bill won’t pass.
In some cases, it’s because the GOP doesn’t go far enough in cutting Medicaid assistance. In others, the new bill doesn’t provide enough assistance to older, rural, and low income Americans.
The House Rules Committee said it would be meeting early on Wednesday to make final changes to the “American Health Care Act.” Ryan announced that changes will be made to provide more assistance to older Americans on Fox News, after being pressured by Fox News host Chris Wallace, on Sunday.
Although Joe Biden has stepped out of the political world, he has continued to speak out, particularly on health issues. Earlier this month, VP Biden was a keynote speaker at SXSW in Austin, Texas, encouraging action as head of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force and Biden Cancer Initiative.
Back in January, Joe Biden dared Donald Trump to repeal Obamacare, telling Trump via CNN’s Jake Tapper:
“Go ahead, repeal it. Repeal it now … see what happens.”
Watch the spot below.
Biden to GOP: Go ahead, repeal Obamacare