Biden to challenge Trump on healthcare in election battleground

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at a community center in Darby, Pennsylvania U.S.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday will visit the heart of must-win Pennsylvania to highlight healthcare policies that his campaign hopes will sway voters to choose him over President Donald Trump.

As part of a slow creep out of his Delaware home amid coronavirus concerns to destinations further afield, Biden, who grew up in the Pennsylvania rust-belt city of Scranton, is headed to the city of Lancaster as part of a trip intended to weaken the Republican president’s standing with swing-state voters.

Trump, meanwhile, planned to visit Green Bay, Wisconsin, another critical election battleground in his Nov. 3 contest with Biden, where he was expected to address police reform.

Biden’s campaign said he will meet with families to talk about the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the signature legislative achievement of his time as Barack Obama’s vice president, which Republicans want to overturn.

Later, in a speech, Biden will argue that African-Americans and Latinos disproportionately hurt by the coronavirus will benefit from strengthening that law, according to a person familiar with the remarks. The Trump administration is expected to file papers with the Supreme Court on Thursday asking them to declare the act illegal.

The president has touted quick moves to curtail international travel as helping control the spread of the coronavirus, and he has promised to dispose of Obamacare while preserving insurance benefits for people with expensive medical conditions.

Trump campaign spokesman Ken Farnaso said Biden’s hostility to energy industry jobs would cost “hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians” their jobs and healthcare.

“In contrast, President Trump’s pro-growth policies, tax cuts, and deregulation built a booming economy once and he is the leader we need to do it again,” he said.

Democrats believe pitching pragmatic tweaks to Obamacare in 2018 won them moderate voters and helped them wrest control of the House of Representatives, and they want to make it a key issue again this year.

House Democrats unveiled a bill on Wednesday that would provide more insurance premium assistance to low-income people and offer more healthcare funding to states. The effort is unlikely to win support from Republicans.

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