President Joe Biden outlined the struggles Americans face when it comes to drug costs and touted his administration’s work to address it, an issue the White House sees as a win-win for them going into the 2024 election.
He was quick to contrast his actions with those of the Republicans, criticizing the Republican Party for trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Social Security and Medicare.
And he joked that lower drug prices are a popular topic.
“He’s much more popular than me,” he said as the crowd laughed.
She spent much of the speech testing her ideas against Republican proposals and shared, as she has often done, her own family’s struggles with health care costs when her son Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015.
President Joe Biden slammed Republicans during a speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he touted his administration’s work to lower drug prices.
Biden was speaking at the University of Nevada on the last day of a three-day trip that also took him to California. The White House believes that health care is an issue where it can beat the GOP
“I’ve been a major consumer of health care and my family has,” he said, before praising health professionals.
The doctors let you live. Nurses, both male and female, make you want to live.
In February 1988, after suffering from recurring painful headaches, he suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms. The then 45-year-old senator required emergency surgery.
He has often used his experience and how medical workers saved the lives of his two sons, when his wife and daughter were killed in a traffic accident, to empathize with Americans grappling with loss.
And he contrasted that with the extreme victory of the Republican Party.
“These MAGA Republicans are different,” he said. “They are determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
He also repeated his previous accusation that they want to cut welfare programs. He pointed out to the crowd that Republicans, during his State of the Union address, who had accused him of lying about his position, promised not to cut massive aid programs.
But, he warned: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Then Senator Joe Biden speaks to the press after returning to Capitol Hill in 1988 after undergoing brain surgery for aneurysms.
His comments painted a bleak picture for the poor and the elderly if Republicans had their way on health issues.
He warned that if Republicans were successful in appealing the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans would be unable to obtain insurance due to pre-existing conditions.
That provision is one of the most popular of Obamacare, the nickname for the Affordable Care Act.
Biden is pushing for cheaper prescription drugs as he prepares for an expected run for a second term in the White House.
“The MAGA Republicans don’t think it’s a good idea,” the president said, accusing them of siding with the pharmaceutical industry.
The president has already bragged about how his administration has lowered the cost of insulin for Americans.
The Democrats’ Cut Inflation Act is expected to save taxpayers billions of dollars and reduce the cost of drugs for the approximately 84 million Americans who depend on Medicare.
In addition to capping the price of insulin at $35, the legislation allows the federal government to negotiate deals on a handful of drugs for Medicare enrollees.
Biden seeks to expand that authority in his budget proposal that he submitted to Congress. He is expected to fail in the Republican-controlled House.
But the president could make it a matter of successful re-election.
Cheaper prescription drugs are seen as a winning issue among older voters, who are also trusted to go to the polls.
In his remarks, Biden specifically warned about the consequences for older people.
“For seniors on a fixed income,” he said, “the constant question is whether they can afford their medications.”
“It’s not just the elderly, it’s all the families.”
The president, who is wrapping up a three-day trip to the West Coast, was in a jovial mood as he addressed the friendly crowd.
“Is there a doctor in the house?” He joked at the beginning of his comments.
And he pulled one of his old jokes when he saw people above him, watching their comments from a higher level: ‘Don’t jump,’ he told them.
He also praised healthcare workers for their work during the COVID pandemic. Several doctors and nurses attended his comments.
“Health workers are risking their lives,” he said to loud applause from the crowd.