Milwaukee Journal SentinelBiden campaign ramps up messaging on health care with Supreme Court vote looming
[By Molly Beck, 9/30/20]

MADISON – The issue of whether pre-existing health conditions will continue to be covered has returned as a central issue to the presidential campaign here in Wisconsin — a message Democrats successfully used to sweep statewide races in Wisconsin just two years ago.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is hosting a series of campaign events this week focused on the future of the Affordable Care Act — an offensive triggered by President Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court just before the court is set to hear a case challenging the law.

“The stakes around affordable health care could not be higher in this election. If President Trump gets his way in court, insurers could discriminate against or drop coverage for the 2.4 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions — including more than 300,000 children — all in the midst of a global health pandemic,” Danielle Melfi, Biden campaign state director, said in a statement.

Democrats Gov. Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin all won races in Wisconsin campaigning heavily against Trump’s promise to replace Obamacare and legal challenges to the law brought by former Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel, who are Republicans.

The Biden campaign is holding six events or press calls on the issue, according to the campaign. On Tuesday, former Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts held a “What’s at Stake” for health care virtual organizing event for Wisconsin voters.

Coney Barrett’s nomination put fresh scrutiny on the future of the law. She has not promised to rule against it but has made comments that Democrats are using to raise the issue.

“President Trump’s attempt to jam through the nomination of an activist judge as people are voting underscores what we already knew: health care is on the ballot. Families in the Badger State can’t afford President Trump’s chaotic ‘repeal with no plan to replace’ approach to health care. It doesn’t have to be this way,” Baldwin said in a statement.


In 2012, Coney Barrett criticized Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s majority opinion upholding the law, saying the law’s uninsured penalty amounted to a new tax.

In 2015, she said in an interview with NPR she agreed with conservative justices who believed subsidies should end for states using the federal marketplaces instead of creating their own.

The issue of the Affordable Care Act triggered one of the most tense moments of a chaotic and at many times incomprehensible debate between Biden and Trump on Tuesday.

When asked what his plan is to replace the Affordable Care Act, Trump insisted he had a plan but offered no details and instead claimed he would help protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Trump accused Biden of trying to abolish private health care and accused him of being a socialist. Biden said he would expand Obamacare and would continue to have private insurance under his administration.


Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and state Sen. LaTonya Johnson will hold a press conference on Wednesday about Biden’s health care plan. On Thursday, the campaign will hold an event in the Fox Valley and on Friday the campaign will hold an event focused on the military and health care. No further details were available on Wednesday.

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