16 C
New York
Sunday, May 19, 2024

In North Carolina, Biden Attacks Trump and G.O.P. Over Health Care

PoliticsIn North Carolina, Biden Attacks Trump and G.O.P. Over Health Care

President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris used a North Carolina visit on Tuesday to highlight their administration’s work on expanding access to affordable health care, as Democrats seek a contrast with Republicans on the issue.

Speaking to a crowd of more than 200 Democratic leaders and supporters in the gymnasium of a community center near downtown Raleigh, the president and vice president attacked Republicans for seeking to repeal or limit parts of the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Harris called them “extremists,” who are “trying to take away medical care in our country or make it more expensive.”

Mr. Biden echoed those denouncements and pointed blame at his rival, former President Donald J. Trump, for repeatedly trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and for spreading disinformation about Covid-19 as the death toll soared.

“Trump didn’t level with the American people. He told Americans, all they had to do was inject bleach into themselves,” Mr. Biden said.

He sought to highlight how long members of the opposing party have been trying to unwind former President Barack Obama’s signature health care measure. “Even before the pandemic, Republicans in Congress were hellbent on getting rid of the A.C.A.,” he said.

After reading a laundry list of ways Americans could lose health care coverage if the Affordable Care Act were repealed or restricted, Mr. Biden vowed to protect access to abortion, which has animated national politics since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. If he and Ms. Harris are re-elected in November, Mr. Biden said, they would restore its protections as “the law of the land.”

While the brief mention of abortion signaled that it would be one of his health care priorities for a second term, he did not offer details on how he planned to deliver on his pledge to protect abortion rights.

He was interrupted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas and urging him to consider the health of displaced Palestinians in Gaza. “Everyone deserves health care,” Mr. Biden responded, and he agreed with the demonstrators that more should be done to aid those in the Gaza Strip.

The North Carolina visit was one of the last stops on Mr. Biden’s “Month of Action” tour of battleground states; his appearances in several other states were without interruption.

His focus on health care comes as Democrats celebrate the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the more than 20 million people who signed up for coverage this year — the most since the law was enacted in 2010. The White House has used the benchmark to criticize Republicans, who have spent the past decade attempting to repeal parts or all of the law.

Former President Donald J. Trump, seeking a second term, revived his attacks on the Affordable Care Act toward the end of last year, calling for it to be “replaced.” Just last week, the Republican Study Committee, a large group of House Republicans, released a budget proposal that took aim at the law’s funding.

“If they got their way, these Republican officials would want a country where 45 million Americans — including 1.4 million North Carolinians — would lose their health insurance,” Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to the president, said during a call with reporters on Monday.

The president and the vice president attended a campaign fund-raiser in the state after their remarks. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who signed North Carolina’s Medicaid expansion into law last year, was onstage with the president after the rally. Mr. Biden referred to him as “the best governor” in the nation.

The stop in North Carolina underscores the state’s growing significance to Democrats, as they work to defeat Mr. Trump in November. Mr. Biden lost the state by less than two points in 2020 — the same year that he carried Georgia, a state he visited earlier this month, by fewer than 12,000 votes.

Some Democrats have expressed more confidence in the party’s prospects in North Carolina, pointing to a governor’s race that is likely to be among the most closely watched in the country. Josh Stein, the state’s Democratic attorney general, is running against Mark Robinson, the Republican lieutenant governor, who has a history of inflammatory and divisive statements. Mr. Robinson has also called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Georgia, for its part, does not have a potentially galvanizing top-of-ticket race outside of the presidency. But Mr. Biden’s campaign is maintaining its focus on both states.

Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said Tuesday that the campaign had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars onto the airwaves in Georgia and North Carolina, through advertisements that focus on Black, Latino and Asian American voters. Georgia and North Carolina, she said, make up “a critical piece” of the campaign’s path to victory.

“Our campaign will engage voters across these states, from urban centers to the suburbs and rural areas, where there are more Democratic voters than any other region in the country,” Ms. Chavez Rodriguez said.

Democrats have found electoral success by running on health care before: in 2018, when Mr. Trump and his administration focused on undoing the Affordable Care Act.

Source link

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles