Biden Will Fight to Protect ACA and Americans’ Health Care While Trump Looks to Rip Health Coverage Away from Women, Seniors, Young People, and Those with Preexisting Conditions
Washington, D.C. – A coalition of 23 Democratic attorneys general from around the nation today endorsed Vice President Joseph R. Biden for president of the United States, citing Biden’s commitment to aggressively defend Americans’ access to quality, affordable health coverage and his specific promise to build on the many protections written into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The endorsement comes in the form of an open letter on the same day in which President Donald Trump, his administration, and a Republican-led coalition of attorneys general from around the nation file papers in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to again dismantle the ACA after numerous failed attempts to repeal and dismantle the law since Trump took office three years ago.
“Joe Biden is the leader we trust to guide us out of this unprecedented health, economic, and social justice crisis. Under Joe Biden’s leadership, public health will be prioritized and health care will be reimagined,” writes the coalition of Democratic attorneys general in an open letter announcing the endorsement. “The Trump Administration continues to back the Republican attorneys general lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act wholesale, as states across the country are confronting the harrowing reality of the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 122,000 Americans. Donald Trump’s efforts to strip health care away from tens of millions of Americans, including those with preexisting conditions, is immoral and unlawful; his mismanagement of the pandemic has been incompetent and catastrophic; and his response to the public protests of the killing of George Floyd has been callous and divisive.”
“There is only one person on the ballot this fall who will fight to defend the Affordable Care Act, fight to rebuild our economy, and fight for the American people, and that man is Joe Biden,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. “Only Joe Biden can be trusted to prioritize the health and safety of the American public as we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Donald Trump has repeatedly failed us and shown he is unable to lead when Americans need a commander-in-chief most. For more than three years, Donald Trump has tried to strip health coverage away from millions of Americans and take us back in time to when those with preexisting conditions could be denied health coverage, to when young people could be kicked off their parents’ plans, to when senior citizens could lose access to vital prescription drugs, and when women could be charged more for no other reason than being a woman. If the COVID-19 crisis has shown us anything, it’s that we cannot go back to that time, and with Joe Biden’s leadership as president, we won’t have to go back.”
Today’s letter — led and organized by New York Attorney General Letitia James and the Democratic Attorneys General Association — shines a light on one of the top issues for voters across the nation: Whether Americans deserve access to quality, affordable health coverage. The letter was signed by all 23 elected Democratic Attorneys General and includes 14 new endorsements for the Vice President Biden. The new endorsements come from the Democratic Attorneys General in Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
Former President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law more than 10 years ago with Vice President Biden’s support, ushering in a new age of health care protections for hundreds of millions of Americans across the country. Since that time, Republicans have tried, dozens of times, to repeal the law to no success. When that failed, they took their case to the courts — previously making it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — again failing. Since Trump took office in 2017 and another repeal effort, once again, failed, a Republican-led coalition of attorneys general, along with President Trump and his administration, have tried to undo the health reform law in the courts, piece-by-piece.
When the Republican-led Congress rendered the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional — by reducing the penalty for forgoing coverage to $0 — a lawsuit was filed by another Republican-led coalition, arguing that the rest of the ACA should be held invalid as a result of that change.
A coalition of Democratic attorneys general defended the ACA in its entirety. The case went up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the court held the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, but refused to opine on the validity of the ACA’s remaining provisions. Instead, the Fifth Circuit sent the case back to the district court to determine whether the problem with the mandate requires striking down the whole law. In January, however, a coalition of Democratic attorneys general petitioned the Supreme Court for expedited review to protect Americans’ health care and resolve the uncertainty created by the circuit court decision. The Supreme Court granted review of the case in March and is today receiving opening briefs from Trump and fellow Republicans.
As Donald Trump continues his support for ripping health coverage away from hundreds of millions of Americans, Joe Biden has continued to support the many protections in the ACA.
For more on the case California vs. Texas, check out the explainer linked here.
For more on how health care is a critical issue up and down the ballot in 2020, check out this joint memo from DAGA, DNC, DCCC, DSCC, DGA, and DLCC.
Statement from Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum, Co-Chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association:
“Our nation is at a crossroads, and we need a leader in the White House who knows how to bring people together—not drive them apart. Joe Biden is that person. He’s committed to protecting access to health care and to ensuring we are taking care of our most vulnerable Americans. Joe Biden has demonstrated he has the compassion, empathy, and integrity to lead our country at this most critical juncture.”
Statement from Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, Co-Chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association:
“After four years of chaos and a president who fans the flames of division, Joe Biden is uniquely suited to unite this country,” said AG Healey. “Joe Biden will help put us on a path toward a new normal that is more just and equal and fair. That is why I am proud to support him as our next President of the United States.”
Statement from District of Columbia AG Karl Racine:
“In this defining time in history where we see a multigenerational, multiethnic, and multiracial movement calling for change to oppressive systems, the people are looking for a leader who will heed the voice of the people and promote ideals voters want in their communities. That leader is Vice President Joe Biden. His dedication to public service, empathy, and a long record of fighting for our country’s most vulnerable is desperately needed. That is especially true now as we grapple with two crises: a public health crisis and a police brutality crisis. Joe Biden knows first-hand the importance of quality, affordable health care and his record shows people can trust he will fight for them. And as we seek to reform so many parts of our justice system, I know I have an ally in Joe Biden who will listen and work with me and my fellow Democratic Attorneys General colleagues to lead the way in creating new, long needed and lifesaving, public safety reforms.”
Statement from Maine AG Aaron Frey:
“I strongly support Joe Biden for President. As Attorney General, I have advocated for Mainers’ interests when the Trump Administration has tried to take away access to health care, attacked civil rights and workers’ rights, and gutted necessary environmental regulations which protect Maine’s air, water, and quality of place; all while flouting the rule of law. Joe Biden will undo that damage, restore fidelity to the rule of law, and work towards a more equitable future for Maine and the country. I look forward to him being a positive partner for Maine.”
Statement from Minnesota AG Keith Ellison:
“As Minnesota Attorney General, I promised to stand up and protect the people and we need a leader in the White House who will do the same. The health care fight in this country is deeply personal for so many people here in Minnesota—the parents with kids with asthma, the grandmothers with diabetes, the kids born with preexisting conditions, the newly 26 year old who is facing unemployment and getting kicked of their parents plans—and when I think about who I can trust to fight on the right side of history with my Democratic AG colleague and myself, I can trust Joe Biden to work with us.”
Statement from Nevada AG Aaron Ford:
“Our country is looking for leadership at every turn, and Joe Biden has proven he is ready to take on the big challenges and include a diverse array of voices when it comes to finding the solutions our country desperately needs. As our nation continues to face a health crisis, we need a president who will protect and expand access to affordable health care, not try to make it more difficult for millions of people to get lifesaving care. Joe Biden is committed to providing working class people opportunities to create a better life — not just for the next generation, but for people right now.”
Statement from New Mexico AG Hector Balderas:
“Our diverse communities need the steady and unifying leadership of Vice President Biden.”
Statement from North Carolina AG Josh Stein:
“Whether it’s restoring compassion and dignity to the White House, our country’s international standing, or effective government to address our many challenges, Joe Biden has the heart and experience to lead our nation. I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for President.”
Statement from Rhode Island AG Peter Neronha:
“Effective and inspired leadership at the top of our government is important when things are going well, and absolutely critical when they are not. I know that Joe Biden is the leader this country needs right now because I’ve seen his leadership before, when I was U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island in the Obama administration. At this time of crisis, more than ever, we need Joe Biden’s leadership, wisdom and grace to bring this country together and take on the societal, public health, economic, national security and other challenges we face, while living up to our country’s ideals. Joe Biden is a principled, proven leader. I am proud to support him for president.”
Statement from Vermont AG TJ Donovan:
“It is time to take our country back. It is time to restore our democracy and the rule of law. It is time to believe again in the promise of America. It is time to elect Joe Biden.”
Statement from Virginia AG Mark Herring:
“I knew that I could always count on the Obama-Biden administration to be a partner in our fight for justice, equality, and opportunity for all Virginians, but under Donald Trump the federal government has ceased to be a partner and instead become a constant threat to the safety, well-being, and rights of so many of our fellow Americans. The last four years have been a shocking betrayal of our nation’s core values, and a never ending fight to limit the damage being done on a daily basis by the criminal enterprise that currently occupies the White House. I know Joe Biden will restore honor and integrity to the White House and be the partner that Virginians need as we work to end gun violence, expand access to affordable healthcare, reform policing and the criminal justice system, restore the strength of the middle class, and promote justice, equality, and opportunity for every Virginian and every American.”
Statement from Wisconsin AG Josh Kaul:
“We need a president who will work to unite us, and who will lead with compassion, decency, and purpose. We need to elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States,”
Statement from California AG Xavier Becerra:
“It’s time for a President who has earned the respect and confidence of the American people. It’s time for Joe Biden to be our President.”
Statement from Colorado AG Phil Weiser:
“During this challenging time, we need authentic, compassionate, and trusted leadership at the very top. Joe Biden is ready to lead from day one, with a commitment to serving hard-working Americans, fighting for justice, and defending the rule of law. I know firsthand that Joe will fight hard for what is best about America and am proud to endorse him.”
Statement from Connecticut AG William Tong:
“We need Joe Biden for his strength, his experience, his calm, his commitment to facts and science and public health experts, and his vision for restoring the soul of our nation. We also need Joe Biden to restore our humanity and grace. I look forward to supporting, voting for and seeing Joe Biden sworn in as the next President of the United States.”
Statement from Delaware AG Kathy Jennings:
“The last four years have proven that compassion, humility, and maturity are not just admirable qualities; they are vital governing skills. Now, with a pandemic raging, the worst economic crisis we’ve faced in my lifetime, and widespread civil unrest, it is painfully clear that those skills are nowhere to be found in the White House. America needs a uniter, not a divider, leading our country at this moment.
“I’ve known Joe and Jill for decades and I worked with their son, Beau, when he was Delaware’s Attorney General. I have never met someone as empathetic, capable, and experienced as Joe Biden. We have never needed his leadership more, and I am proud that he will represent our Party in the November election.”
Statement from Illinois AG Kwame Raoul:
“Joe fought alongside President Obama to pass the Affordable Care Act so assault survivors cannot be denied health insurance and treatment. Now is not a time for rhetoric that divides us. Now is the time for steady leadership from a proven leader who knows how to bridge the divide to get things done. Now is the time for Joe Biden. I enthusiastically endorse him to be our nominee for President of the United States of America.”
Statement from Iowa AG Tom Miller:
“Now more than ever we need Joe Biden. As President he would bring us together as the President of all Americans, lead us out of the COVID pandemic, bring healing to our racial divide and return integrity to our highest office.”
Statement from Maryland AG Brian Frosh:
“We need a president who works as hard as Marylanders do because they know who they are and where they come from, and that doesn’t just offer promises— but delivers a better future for our country.”
Statement from Michigan AG Dana Nessel:
“Since my election as state Attorney General, I have kept my promise to use all the legal tools available to protect health care, defend the rule of law, and fight back against discriminatory policies that put the lives of Michigan families and communities at risk. When it comes to the Presidential race, I will only put my energy and support behind someone who is committed to working with me to protect the people of Michigan — and that is why I am supporting Joe Biden.”
Statement from Pennsylvania Josh Shapiro:
“I’ve known and worked with Vice President Biden for two decades. He is a strong leader—and right now, we need his moral clarity, his grit and his experience more than ever. It’s time to restore decency and honor to the presidency and to our nation. That’s why I’m proud to have endorsed Joe Biden and I am honored to stand with my colleague Democratic Attorneys General to support him. Our country faces many serious challenges—an economic crisis, an opioid epidemic, deep racial wounds, devastating gun violence, a system rigged against the voiceless. We must tackle these fights together with mutual respect: from the Steamfitter to the surgeon, the teacher to the tech worker. Vice President Biden has spent his career bringing people together, and as President, he will be the uniter and the healer America so desperately needs.”