Notes from Joe: Our Health Care is on the Ballot

On September 18th, our nation lost a hero, an icon, a jurist who dedicated her life to a mighty ideal: equal justice under law. 

In the following days, I had the chance to speak with Justice Ginsburg’s family to express my condolences — to pay my respects as she became the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. 

But within an hour of her passing, Mitch McConnell pledged to ram through her replacement. Within an hour. And this week, that effort begins in earnest as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers President Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

I want to be absolutely clear: the voters should pick the next president and that president should select a successor to Justice Ginsburg. 

This was the position that Senate Republicans took in 2016 — nearly nine months before the election. That is the position the Senate must take now as the election is already under way and millions of Americans have already voted. 

The stakes couldn’t be higher. This is about protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans. And it’s about the future of our entire health care system.

Let me explain.

From day one of his presidency, Donald Trump has done everything in his power to destroy Obamacare. First, he tried to get Congress to repeal the law. And when that failed, he took unilateral action after unilateral action to sabotage the law.

Now, amid a pandemic that has killed 215,000 Americans and left millions out of work, Trump is taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court. His Administration is asking the Court to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act.

In less than 30 days, the Supreme Court will hear the case. So it should come as no surprise that President Trump and Republicans are rushing the confirmation of Judge Barrett, who has been a vocal critic of a previous Supreme Court decision to uphold Obamacare.

If Trump succeeds in getting the Supreme Court to eliminate the entire ACA, 23 million Americans could lose their health care coverage. 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes — even those who have complications from COVID-19 — could once again be denied coverage or see their premiums skyrocket. Insurance companies could charge women higher premiums — just because they are women. Seniors would see prescription drug costs increase. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

You deserve a president who will protect and build upon the Affordable Care Act — not tear it down. 

I have a plan to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care — especially those in communities of color that have been disproportionately uninsured and underinsured for far too long.

I’ll increase premium tax credits for working families so they can afford plans with lower deductibles and lower co-pays — meaning lower out-of-pocket spending. I’ll automatically enroll onto the public option, for free, the millions of low-income people who need it most but are being denied Medicaid by their state right now. And, I’ll give everyone the chance to choose a new public health insurance option.

A Biden-Harris Administration will hold insurance companies and drug manufacturers accountable. We’ll finally address “surprise billing” and the outrageous cost of prescription drugs in this country. In fact, an independent analysis found that my plan will slash the cost of prescription drugs by 60%.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear Trump’s dangerous lawsuit on November 10th. That will be a big moment — but there’s an even more critical day before then: Election Day.

So on November 3rd, I urge you to vote like health care is on the ballot — because it is. 

– Joe