In a letter addressed on Monday morning to Trump, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and 18 attorneys general, Biden wrote, “At a time of national emergency, which is laying bare the existing vulnerabilities in our public health infrastructure, it is unconscionable that you are continuing to pursue a lawsuit designed to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance and protections under the Affordable Care Act., including the ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums due to pre-existing conditions.”
The letter was sent exactly 10 years after former President Obama signed the ACA into law. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review a challenge to the ACA’s constitutionality after a group of states led by Texas claimed there was no longer a legal justification for it.
The law was first upheld by the Supreme Court under the justification that the financial penalty tied to the individual mandate, the requirement to buy health insurance, fell under Congress’ taxation power. But when Trump eliminated the penalty, Republican-led states claimed there was no longer a legal basis for the mandate.
In December, a federal appeals court panel found the law unconstitutional.
“The litigation you are supporting––Texas v. U.S.–– threatens the peace of mind and access to care for hundreds of millions of Americans…The only reason this new case gained traction was because Congressional Republicans decided to amend the law and zero-out the penalty for not being insured, and legal experts from across the ideological spectrum have concluded that this new argument––that this change invalidates the entire law––is legally unsupportable,” Biden argued in the letter.
At a town hall hosted by Fox News in Scranton, Penn., earlier this month, Trump was asked how he plans to rally Republicans around a health care plan after failing to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare.
“I think it’s probably the thing that I’m most disappointed that I haven’t been able to say 'what a good job we’ve done.' I haven’t been able to sell what a great job we’ve done. First of all, I got rid of the individual mandate, which was the worst part of ObamaCare,” Trump responded.
The Supreme Court is unlikely to make a decision on the case until after the 2020 election.
In the meantime, the number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to rise, with about 500 deaths on Monday.
During a virtual presentation from his home in Wilmington, Delaware Monday, Biden addressed the pandemic, saying, “This is not the moment to add additional uncertainty and fear in this nation or to let politics Trump doing what's right. Give America peace of mind. “