- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2023

President Biden plans to maintain his campaign-style attacks on Republicans Tuesday by pointing to repeated GOP efforts to repeal or dismantle the health law he muscled across the finish line with President Barack Obama and Democrats in 2010.

GOP efforts to kill Obamacare ended in disaster in 2017, making “repeal and replace” something that many Republicans probably want to forget. But Mr. Biden will put it front and center in a speech from Virginia Beach, Virginia, as he uses threats to health benefits as a political cudgel amid tense spending negotiations.

The White House says over 16 million people rely on private insurance from Obamacare’s web-based exchanges and 22 million more enrolled in Medicaid coverage because the law expanded coverage in most states.

“Republican legislation, budgets, and litigation, along with recent statements, proposals, and budget plans, provide clear evidence that health care will be on the chopping block for severe cuts,” the White House said in a fact sheet ahead of the speech. “Virtually every Republican budget or fiscal plan over the last decade has included repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and deep cuts to Medicaid.

Mr. Biden is reviving the Republican threat to Obamacare as part of a feud GOP efforts to balance the federal budget and cut spending. The administration wants the House GOP majority to list potential cuts as both sides wrangle over raising the federal government’s debt limit. 

In some cases, Mr. Biden is filling in the blanks for Republicans.

During his State of the Union address, Mr. Biden accused Republicans of looking to roll back Medicare and Social Security benefits, prompting an angry response from Republicans.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said that Medicare and Social Security are not on the chopping block as part of debt negotiations.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also put distance between his caucus and the campaign-season proposal that Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, put forward last year with a provision that would allow all federal programs to sunset after five years.

Democrats said the proposal would put entitlements at risk, prompting Mr. McConnell to describe it as a Scott plan instead of one for all Republicans.

On Obamacare, any Republican effort to replace the law has been on the shelf since 2018. The GOP only controls the House, though it isn’t stopping Mr. Biden from warning of new repeal threats.

Mr. Biden, who is deciding whether to run again in 2024, will warn Tuesday that more than 100 million people with pre-existing health conditions would lose an Obamacare protection that requires insurers to enroll them. He will also point to the loss of other Obamacare benefits, including fully covered preventive services such as cancer screenings, cholesterol tests, annual check-ups, and contraception.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide

Sponsored Stories