President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks on lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act

foreign like check one two one two testing one two three four five six seven eight nine ten like check one two three four five six seven eight nine ten mic check one two three four five six seven eight nine ten mic check one two three four you you you good afternoon today the supreme court heard arguments in a case that could strike down the affordable care act in its entirety if the supreme court agrees with the opponents of the act their decision could take health care away from 20 million americans it could take away protections for more than a hundred million people with pre-existing conditions in our country and hurt the millions of americans who have come to rely on the affordable care act getting rid of the affordable care act will take us backward to a time when people could charge a woman more for her health care than they could charge a man simply because she's a woman to a time when pregnancy could be considered a pre-existing condition it will take away free birth control and contraceptive coverage for women this is all happening at a moment when our country is suffering through a pandemic that has claimed more than 238 thousand lives and we all know that if the affordable care act is struck down communities of color would be hit particularly hard black asian hispanic and native american because they are at a greater risk of pre-existing conditions from asthma to diabetes to lupus and they are also three times as likely to contract covet 19 and twice as likely to die as others now i know we all know that we just had an election in america an election where health care was very much on the ballot our country had a clear choice in this election each and every vote for joe biden was a statement that health care in america should be a right and not a privilege each and every vote for joe biden was a vote to protect and expand the affordable care act not to tear it away in the midst of a global pandemic and joe biden won the election decisively with more votes than have ever been cast in american history it amounts to 75 million voices and counting calling on the supreme court to see this case for what it is a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the people and the president-elect and i cannot let that happen and now it is my honor to introduce president-elect joe biden thank you uh good afternoon everyone this morning as was stated the united states supreme court heard oral arguments on the case of grave importance to the american people this case represents the latest attempt by the far-right ideologues to do what they've been repeatedly failed to do for a long time in the courts in the congress and the court of public opinion over the last decade to eliminate the entirety of the affordable care act twice already the supreme court has upheld the landmark law in 2012 and again in 2015 and the congress expressing the popular will of the american people on a bipartisan basis has rejected numerous attempts numerous efforts by president trump to erase the law as well now in the middle of a deadly pandemic that has infected more than 10 million americans nearly one in every 32 americans often with devastating consequences to their health these ideologues are once again trying to strip health coverage away from the american people the goal of the outgoing administration is clear from the brief they filed in the supreme court it asserts and i quote the entire aca thus must fall end of quote now i'm not naive about the fact that health care is an issue that has divided americans in the past but the truth is the american people are more united on this issue today than they are divided recently as last month the leading survey found that american people want to keep the affordable care act in place by an overwhelming margin of 58 percent to 36 percent 79 of the american people including nine out of ten democrats eight out of ten independents and two-thirds of republicans want to keep the aca protections for people with pre-existing conditions which would be eliminated if this lawsuit were to succeed this doesn't need to be a partisan issue it's a human issue it affects every single american family we can't subvert the growing consensus the american people based on an argument put forward in the briefs seeking to invalidate the law that even many conservative legal scholars including in the national review consider to be quote ridiculous let's be absolutely clear about what's at stake the consequence of the trump administration's argument are not academic or an abstraction for many americans they are a matter of life and death in a literal sense this argument will determine whether health care coverage of more than 20 million americans who acquired under the affordable care act will be ripped away in the middle of the nation's worst pandemic in a century over 100 million people as the vice president-elect pointed out over 100 million people with pre-existing conditions like asthma diabetes cancer could once again be denied coverage whether complications from covet 19 like lung scarring and heart damage will be the next flood of pre-existing conditions that can be used as an excuse to jack up premiums or deny coverage altogether for millions of survivors who have struggled won and fought the coronavirus fought against the loss of their life this argument is going to determine whether women as pointed out will once again be charged higher premiums just because they're women or seniors will see their prescription drug costs go up and like kids who whether or not they can stay on their parents plan salah's 26th where their annual lifetime benefits will be reimposed so someone could walk in and say die in peace you run out of your coverage it's in hyperbole it's real as real as it gets when a family is faced with the awful news of a child's diagnosis with leukemia or a mom forced to battle against breast cancer an accident that leaves loved ones unable to live the life they've always known it stops your heart it stops your heart it wrenches your entire world right off its axis when that happens and many of you know that from your own personal experiences believe me i know the feeling and too many american families do as well in that moment the very last thing on your mind the very last thing should be on your mind is whether you can afford the treatment a for the affordable care act was created to put a stop to that inhumanity it was created to ensure that families thrust into their worst nightmare of their lives could focus not only not on money but on the fight that really matters obamacare is a law that every american should be proud of it's why people with pre-existing conditions are protected in this country it's a law that delivered vital coverage as i said before for 20 million americans who did not have coverage it's a law that reduced prescription drug price costs for nearly 12 million seniors it's a law that saved lives and spared countless families from financial ruin so this effort to bypass the will of the american people the verdict of the courts in the past the judgments of congress in my view is simply cruel and needlessly divisive regardless of the outcome of this case i promise you this beginning on january 20th the vice president-elect harris and i we're going to do everything in our power to ease the burden of health care on you and your families i promise you that as i said i will protect your health care like i protect like as of my own family and we've been unfortunately significant consumers of health care that starts by building on the affordable care act with the dramatic expansion of health care coverage and bold steps to lower health care costs my transition team will soon be starting its work to flesh out the details so that we can hit the ground running tackling costs increasing access lowering the price of prescription drugs families are reeling right now particularly the reporters in this room and others listening you've interviewed a lot of these people around the country as you've gone all over the world all over the country enduring illnesses faced with risky choices losing their employer plans and droves already 10 million have already lost their employer plans they need a lifeline and they need it now they should have to hold their breath they shouldn't be in that position waiting to see if the supreme court is going to wrench away the peace of mind they've come to now rely on so we're going to get right to work i promise you addressing the issues that families are are talking about around the kitchen tables this morning making sure that they can get bed tonight with the peace of mind that they deserve and fulfilling our moral obligation to ensure that here in america health care is a right for all not a privilege for a few so come january we're going to work quickly with the congress to dramatically ramp up health care protections get americans universal coverage lower health care costs as soon as humanly possible that's the promise i make to you we're going to fight for your family's health coverage the same way we fight for our own family's health coverage we want every single american to know if you're sick if you're struggling if you're worried about how you're going to get going to get through the day we will not abandon you that is a promise will not leave you to face these challenges alone we're going to get through this we're going to get through it together and we're going to build a health care system that puts you and your families first and that every american can be proud of i want to thank you all for listening may god bless you may god keep you safe in this coveted environment and may god protect our troops now i'm told that we're going to have you're going to we're going to take five questions thereabout okay thank you mr president-elect during the campaign you said you were not naive about how difficult it would be to unite the country it's now three days after you were projected as the president-elect the president himself says he has won this election his own administration has not moved forward to give you access to what you need to do to begin the work of your transition just a few minutes ago the secretary of state when asked if he would cooperate with a smooth transition he said there will be a smooth transition to a second trump administration i wonder if you have a message for the president who may well be watching right now and how do you expect to be able to work with republicans when so many have thus far refused to even acknowledge your victory well first of all uh we are already beginning the transition we're well underway and uh the ability uh for uh the administration in any way by failure to recognize us as our win uh does not change the dynamic at all and what we're able to do we've announced yesterday as you know the health group that we put together today we're going to be going moving along in a in a consistent manner putting together our administration the white house and reviewing who we're going to pick for the cabinet positions and nothing's going to stop that and uh and so i'm confident that uh the fact that they're not willing to acknowledge we want at this point is uh not of much consequence in our planning and what we're able to do between now and january 20th give response to secretary pompeo and i also i also wonder you warned during the campaign that as the walls closed in on the president he would behave more erratically yesterday he fired his defense secretary on twitter are you worried that he's disabling the government and what are you saying to the world leaders who are calling you at this point about the situation here well first of all uh i'm letting him know that america's back uh we're going to be back in the game it's not american alone number one i've got had the opportunity to speak with now six world leaders and uh and the response has been very uh fulsome energetic and uh they're all looking forward to being able to from from great britain to france to germany to canada et cetera and ireland so i feel good about the ability to i said when we announced that the next president is going to inherit a divided country and a world in disarray the reception and welcome we've gotten around the world from our allies and our friends has been real i'm having a number of other calls to return and uh so i feel confident that we're going to be able to uh put the mayor put america back in the place of respect that it had before mr president-elect senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has suggested today that he may not recognize the outcome of this election until the electoral college meets next month have you spoken to your longtime friend in the senate mr mcconnell and what do you make of his specific comments over the last 24 hours i haven't had a chance to speak to mitch my expectation is that i will do that not too distant future um i think that uh the whole republican party has been put in a position with a few notable exceptions of uh being mildly intimidated by the sitting president but there's only one president at a time he's president we're going to have the electoral college will be making their judgment in december it will be announced in early january but in the meantime i hope to get a chance to speak to mitch if i could follow up without transition funding will you be able to go through with a proper transition that's needed would you like access to the pdb and will you authorize legal action or would that be too divisive do you believe i we can get through without the the funding uh we're in a position that uh we feel very good about our there's nothing that slows up our efforts to put things together obviously the pdb would be useful but it's not necessary i'm not the sitting president now and so we don't see anything in slowing us down quite frankly thank you thank you mr president-elect and congratulations to you both have you tried to reach out at all to the president and if he is watching right now what would you say to him mr president look forward to speaking with you and you say that you are being able to move ahead without interruption but to jeff's point presumably at some point you will need access to more classified information to secure facilities and the like what options are you considering how will you move ahead if the president continues to refuse to concede well look uh access to classified information is uh is useful uh but i'm not a position to make any decisions on those issues anyway there's one as i said one president at a time and he will be president until january 20th it would be nice to have it but it's not critical and that's we're just going to proceed the way we have we're going to we're going to do exactly what we'd be doing if he had conceded and said we've won which we have and so there's nothing really changing but not ruling out legal action no i don't see a need for legal action uh quite frankly i think the legal action is uh you're seeing it play out the actions he's taking and so far there is no evidence of any of the assertions made by the president or secretary of state pompeo secretary of state pompeo uh thank you mr president-elect uh democrats are on track to lose a handful of seats in the house of representatives um that could make it harder to pass legislation with just democratic votes and i'm just curious how does that impact your plans for what priorities you think you can get through this congress uh especially if the senate remains in gop control and during the lame duck will you be coordinating with speaker pelosi on how she should be negotiating with republicans well i've spoken to the leader and i've spoken to the minority leader in the house and uh one of the urgent things that need be done is people need relief right now right now small businesses people who are about to be evicted from their homes because they can't pay their mortgage unemployment insurance you know what's going to happen is you're going to see what people don't realize is the failure to provide state and local assistance you're going to see police officers firefighters first responders laid off and i think the pressure is going to build but the fact is that uh i would hope that the president at least has the uh the sensitivity and knowledge you know that a lot of people are in real trouble right now between now and the time we get elected until we get sworn in and so it's my hope and expectation i i'm sure that the uh majority leader the speaker of the house as well as the minority leader are working right now into the priorities they have laid out but do you plan to be active in those negotiations working with speaker pelosi to represent democrats on the table well i they we've been talking and they know my views and and i support what they're doing and then my second question was about the senate do you plan to campaign in georgia before your inauguration to help democrats in the two runoff races there as they try to flip the senate and uh how important is a democratic held senate to your agenda well obviously it'd be much better if we had uh a tie in the senate which means that this vice president become incredibly important beyond what she already is but uh we're gonna do anything we can that they think we can do to help and does the democratic senate help your cabinet chances that does that uh change how you consider who you nominate to cabinet posts no i don't think so i i i take uh mcconnell at his word i understand he said that he will make it clear who he's prepared to support and not support and that's a negotiation that i'm sure will have look one of the things that that i would do as as elect and when i become president is lay out to the republicans as well as the democrats who we intend to name for each cabinet position i hope we're able to be in a position to let people know at least a couple that we want before thanksgiving and we'll just work this out look i am uh i am not a pessimist as you know and i think there are enough republicans who have already spoken out but i think there'll be many more not many more there'll be a larger number once the uh the election is declared and i'm sworn in to be able to get things done i think they understand for example i can't imagine there not being a willingness on the part of republicans they're going to be significant pressure to deal with health care their own constituencies are in that position so i i'm not i i think we can get a lot done thank you sir what do you say to the americans that are anxious over the fact that president trump has yet to concede and what that might mean for the country well um i just think it's an embarrassment quite frankly the only thing that how can i say this tactfully i think it will not help the president's legacy i think that i know from my discussions with foreign leaders thus far that they are hopeful that the united states democratic institutions are viewed once again as being strong and endured and uh but i think at the end of the day uh you know it's all going to come to fruition on january 20th and between now and then i hope an expectation is that the american people are do know and do understand that there has been a transition even among republicans who are people who voted for the president i understand the sense of loss i get that but i think the majority of the people who voted for the president a lot voted for him a significantly smaller number but a lot voted for him i think they understand that we have to come together i think they're ready to unite and i believe we can pull the country out of this bitter um politics that we've seen for the last uh last five six seven years and just to follow up on a previous question how do you expect to work with republicans if they won't even acknowledge you as president-elect they will they will thank you all so very much guys you

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