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Local News

Biden campaign launches Health Care Provider events throughout commonwealth

(Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

John Cole, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
May 14, 2024

Health Care Providers for Biden-Harris, a new national coalition launched by the campaign, is hosting a series of events in battleground states across the country, including Pennsylvania. 

Local doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health care providers are expected to emphasize what’s at stake for health care in the 2024 election at events this week in Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Scranton, and Erie. 

State Rep. Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny), a physician, is scheduled to participate in the Pittsburgh launch of the coalition on Tuesday. 

“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are running for reelection to continue their work to bring down the costs of prescription drugs, protect Medicare, strengthen the ACA, including safeguarding coverage for people with preexisting conditions like cancer, and codifying abortion rights that are fundamental to reproductive healthcare,” Venkat wrote in a statement. 

He accused former President Donald Trump, who is the presumptive Republican Party nominee, of only running for himself and to “terminate” the Affordable Care Act, cut Medicare and Medicaid funding, and undo efforts from the Biden administration to reduce prescription drug costs. Venkat said that Trump would “appoint judges who threaten the fundamental right to make the most personal of judgments on when to have a family or, worse, prevent emergency physicians from treating women in their time of crisis.”

Venkat isn’t the only elected official scheduled to participate. State Rep. Izzy Smith-Wade-El (D-Lancaster) is one of the featured speakers for the Lancaster event on Wednesday, while state Rep. Bridget Kosierowski (D-Lackawanna), a registered nurse, and Scranton City Councilwoman Jessica Rothchild will speak in Scranton on Thursday.

According to the Biden-Harris campaign, 420,000 Pennsylvanians signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year. About 5.2 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions could be denied coverage or charged thousands more if Trump “terminated” the ACA, plus over 7 million residents would no longer be guaranteed free cancer screenings, annual check-ups, and other care services, the campaign said. About 2.4 million women in the state would be at risk of losing access to affordable birth control and contraception if the ACA were repealed.

In 2017, Trump attempted to repeal the ACA during his presidency, but was unsuccessful. But in April, he released a video saying he was “not running to terminate” the ACA, although he didn’t provide specifics on what changes he would make to the current health care law.

In a statement to the Capital-Star, Trump’s campaign accused Biden of destroying Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act’s informal name. 

“While President Trump is running to make less expensive healthcare options available for people without eliminating the Affordable Care Act, it is Joe Biden who is destroying Obamacare and indeed the entire healthcare system with his Open Borders invasion,” said Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign. She claimed that Biden was “giving free government healthcare to illegal aliens,” and added that Trump will “seal the border, deport the illegals, and cut off all government benefits” on the first day of his administration. 

According to healthcare.gov, undocumented immigrants cannot get Marketplace health coverage, although they may apply for coverage on behalf of documented individuals. NPR reported in December 2023 that more than 1 million low-income immigrants, regardless of legal status, in 11 states plus Washington D.C. are provided full health insurance coverage.

This is not the first effort from the Biden campaign to promote the ACA and health care in Pennsylvania. Last week, it released an ad that included a clip of Trump previously saying he wanted to “terminate” the ACA. Also, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Philadelphia suburbs on Wednesday to advocate for reproductive rights.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.