Yesterday, President Biden delivered a speech in Virginia Beach to call out Republicans for their relentless threats to slash Medicaid and dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For months Republicans have openly stated their goal for their House majority – to gut health care programs rather than make companies and the wealthy pay their fair share. GOP lawmakers are relying on Russ Vought, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under former President Trump, as they draft a right-wing budget proposal to slash vital programs.
Vought’s plan would drive up costs for almost 15 million Americans and eliminate coverage altogether for more than 20 million people while also removing vital protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. The plan would be catastrophic for the American people and disproportionately impact children, rural Americans, and people of color. People would lose their health insurance and important benefits like preventive services and maternity care, and pay more for prescription drugs and insurance premiums. Headlines make clear President Biden is committed to protecting American families from the latest GOP attacks on health care.
The Virginian-Pilot: Biden Speaks On Health Care In Virginia Beach, Slams GOP. “President Joe Biden came to Virginia Beach on Tuesday afternoon, seeking to contrast his health-care proposals with those of congressional Republicans. Biden made his remarks at the Kempsville Recreation Center, in the congressional district now represented by Republican Jen Kiggans. The person Kiggans defeated for that seat, Elaine Luria, was among the attendees. Biden accused Republicans of wanting to lower taxes on large companies and the richest Americans while cutting benefits offers by Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. ‘Make no mistake, MAGA Republicans will try to take away people’s health care by cutting Medicaid and the ACA,’ he said. ‘I will stop them.’ He described MAGA Republicans as ‘a different kind of cat’ compared to other Republicans who are more open to compromise. Biden also said Democrats voted to raise the debt ceiling as the national debt grew from under $20 trillion to $26.9 trillion in the Donald Trump administration. He said his health care reforms would also bring down costs for government, and celebrated the Inflation Reduction Act that allows Medicare Part D to negotiate drug prices which is estimated to save $10 billion over the next decade.” [The Virginian-Pilot, 2/28/23]
AP: Biden Warns of ‘MAGA’ Republicans’ Desire to Cut Spending. “President Joe Biden on Tuesday said GOP lawmakers could put millions of people’s health care at risk, honing his message ahead of the release of his budget plan next week as Republicans push for him to negotiate over spending levels.” [Associated Press, 3/1/23]
PBS: Biden Warns Of Republicans Putting Affordable Health Care At Risk During Visit To Virginia Beach. “President Joe Biden on Tuesday said GOP lawmakers could put millions of people’s health care at risk, honing his message ahead of the release of his budget plan next week as Republicans push for him to negotiate over spending levels. The Democratic president spoke at a recreation center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. His remarks were part of a broader effort this week to contrast his administration’s priorities with those of Republicans who have yet to spell out their budget cuts. Using past proposals, Biden said the GOP could try to slash Medicaid and Obamacare benefits, as well as Social Security and Medicare. ‘What are they going to cut? That’s the big question,” Biden said Tuesday. “For millions of Americans, health care hangs in the balance.’” [PBS, 2/28/23]
Washington Post: Biden Has A New Health-Care Attack Line. “It’s pretty clear: President Biden believes health care is a potent campaign message. No, he hasn’t yet announced whether he’s running for a second term. But if the past few weeks serve as a preview, then the White House believes portraying Republicans as a threat to Americans’ health care is a political winner. After hammering Republicans on Medicare and Social Security for weeks, Biden pivoted yesterday to framing the GOP as a danger to Medicaid and Obamacare. ‘Look, make no mistake: If MAGA Republicans try to take away people’s health care by gutting Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, I will stop them,’ Biden said during a speech in Virginia Beach. When it comes to health care, Democrats have long believed they have the advantage over Republicans, and both Medicaid and Obamacare have proven to be broadly popular. Republicans failed to repeal the law in 2017 after repeatedly pledging to do so. The party ran into resistance for attempting deep cuts to Medicaid, with several GOP governors even up in arms at the proposals, and some health experts have since dubbed the safety net program a ‘potential new third rail’ of American politics.” [The Washington Post, 3/1/23]
USA Today: ‘Health Care Hangs In The Balance’: Biden Expands Attacks On GOP Over Budget Cuts. “After pounding away at Republicans over Social Security and Medicare, President Joe Biden on Tuesday broadened his attack. Biden accused Republicans of wanting to slash two other benefit programs: Obamacare and Medicaid. ‘For millions of Americans, health care hangs in the balance,’ Biden said. ‘If MAGA Republicans try to take away people’s health care by gutting Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, I will stop them.’ He made that pledge Tuesday when visiting a crossover congressional district in Virginia that he carried in 2020 but that Republicans flipped in November’s midterm elections. It’s part of the president’s drumbeat of calling on Republicans to lay out how they would reduce the deficit as the president prepares to send his own budget proposal to Congress next week.” [USA Today, 2/28/23]
Daily Mail (UK): ‘Maybe They Found Religion’: Biden Drags Republicans Who Now Say They Don’t Want To Cut Medicare And Social Security And Mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene For Calling Him A ‘Liar’. “President Joe Biden told a Virginia Beach crowd that Republicans may have ‘found religion’ by wanting to protect Social Security and Medicare – but accused the GOP on Tuesday of planning cuts on health care for the poor and Obamacare. Biden also tipped his hand on the proposed White House budget that’s expected to be rolled out on March 9th, saying people earning less than $400,000 per year won’t pay ‘a penny’ on tax hikes he’s proposing. He said the budget plan would spell out ‘What we’re going to cut, what we’re going to spend, what we’re going to do. Just lay it on the table.’ After pounding Republicans for weeks over a plan by Florida Sen. Rick Scott to ‘sunset’ federal programs and require renewal votes in Congress, Biden is shifting the terrain to Medicaid. He said Republicans would be pulling out old plans to cut funding in order to meet their budget-cutting demands.” [Daily Mail, 2/28/23]
CNBC: Biden Warns Of GOP Plans To Curb Access To Health Care. “The speech comes a little over a week before the White House is scheduled to present Biden’s fiscal 2024 budget to Congress and as the White House and House Republicans continue to spar over spending cuts and the debt ceiling. Republicans have insisted that Biden cut spending as part of a deal to raise the debt limit — a proposition Biden won’t negotiate. While he agrees that federal spending needs to be curtailed, he’s vehemently opposed to tying it to the debt ceiling. Biden met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House earlier this month to discuss the topic, but no agreements were made. Lifting the debt limit does not authorize any new spending; it allows the government to borrow more money to cover existing commitments. And since the federal government consistently spends more than it takes in in tax revenue, lawmakers have to periodically raise the debt ceiling. Failing to lift the debt ceiling could lead to a government default on its debt and halt daily operations, causing potential turmoil to markets and the economy. The Treasury Department already launched a series of extraordinary steps to keep paying the government’s bills, and it expects those measures will be enough to avoid default at least until early June. But if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt limit by then, it could wreak economic havoc around the world.” [CNBC, 2/28/23]
WVBT News: President Biden To Republicans On Healthcare: ‘Lay Proposal On The Table’. “President Joe Biden outlined the tenants of his health care proposal Tuesday during an address which contrasted his plans with that MAGA Republicans who he said would make deep cuts in programs that, in particular, support families and seniors. Biden gave his roughly 30-minute address to a mostly receptive and packed Kempsville Recreation Center gym in Virginia Beach, flying in and out of the city on Air Force One through Naval Air Station Oceana. Biden sought to highlight how the White House believes Congressional Republicans would raise health care costs, including for seniors, while causing millions of people to lose their coverage.” [WVBT News, 2/28/23]