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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Obama, Pelosi appear in video with Biden celebrating health care law

By Maggie Astor

On the 14th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act on Saturday, President Joe Biden sought to put health care at the center of his reelection campaign, releasing a video featuring former President Barack Obama and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The three highlighted key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which provides subsidies for millions of Americans to buy health insurance, allows people to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and stops insurers from denying or charging more for coverage based on preexisting conditions.

And they emphasized that former President Donald Trump, if reelected, could get rid of it. He tried to do so in his first term, and in November he said Republicans should “never give up” on repealing it.

“Republicans have voted, it’s hard to believe, 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said at Saturday’s event. “Fifty times. And now Donald Trump and his MAGA extremists are determined to try again.”

He added: “Folks, we simply can’t let that happen. We won’t let that happen. We’re determined, we’re determined as ever to defend and strengthen the Affordable Care Act, and to make health care a right, not a privilege.”

The event also featured Ashleigh Ewald, an activist from Georgia who emphasized the significance of the ability to stay on a parent’s plan until age 26, and Tyra Bryant-Stephens, a pediatrician from Pennsylvania who treats children with asthma and spoke to the significance of protections for preexisting conditions.

Biden signed legislation expanding the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies through 2025 so that people with household incomes over 400% of the federal poverty level would be eligible if the premium for a standard plan would otherwise exceed 8.5% of their income. Under his administration, enrollment in plans sold through the public exchanges created under the law has reached a record of more than 21 million people.

Obama suggested that a reelected Biden could expand the law further.

“Now we have a chance to do even more,” he said, “but that only happens if we send Joe and Kamala back to the White House in November.”

Pelosi declared that “the fate of the ACA is on the ballot this year,” and Biden sought to broaden that statement by connecting the Affordable Care Act to other health-related policies — including Social Security, Medicare and abortion rights.

“Health care’s at stake in this election,” he said.

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