- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden said Tuesday that health care doesn’t need to be a “partisan” issue and that “far-right ideologues” were trying to strip away health care from millions of Americans.

“This doesn’t need to be a partisan issue. It’s a human issue that affects every single American family,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Delaware.

Mr. Biden pointed to recent polling that said Americans generally support popular provisions of Obamacare, like preserving protections for people with preexisting conditions.

He said a case before the Supreme Court is the latest example of “far-right ideologues” who are trying to get rid of the law.Mr. Biden had campaigned on preserving Obamacare and adding a government-run “public option” that would theoretically compete with private insurance plans on the market.

Presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris said ahead of Mr. Biden’s remarks that people who voted for Mr. Biden were also effectively voting to support Obamacare.

“Joe Biden won the election decisively,” Ms. Harris said.

Mr. Biden spoke Tuesday hours after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to a key part of Obamacare brought by Texas and other states.

The court is considering whether the law’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty is severable from the broader law, or whether it makes all of Obamacare unconstitutional.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh appeared skeptical that the entire law would have to fall if the individual mandate was ruled unconstitutional.

If the two Republican-appointed justices side with the court’s three-justice liberal wing, the bulk of the law could be upheld.

The high court has ruled the mandate is constitutional as part of Congress’s taxing powers, but the GOP-led Congress zeroed its penalty out to $0 in their 2017 tax-cut bill.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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