Wilmington - President-elect Joe Biden lambasted the Trump administration’s argument in the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down, calling it “simply cruel and needlessly divisive” and saying that doing so would leave 20 million Americans’ health coverage “ripped away in the middle of the nation’s worst pandemic in a century.”

“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s at stake: The consequences 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,” Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. “This isn’t hyperbole. It’s real -- as real as it gets,” he said. 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said the case is “a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the people,” pointing out that Biden campaigned on protecting Obamacare and won the most popular votes in the history of the United States.

“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,” Harris said. “Each and every vote for Joe Biden was a statement that healthcare 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.”

President Donald Trump’s administration is looking to undo former President Barack Obama’s signature health law.

Protecting Obamacare was a central theme of Biden’s campaign. During the Democratic primary, he argued for expanding the law by adding a “public option” that would allow Americans to buy into a government-run health insurance plan and by beefing up federal premium subsidies that would make Affordable Care Act coverage more affordable.

 

Democratic president-elect Joe Biden said that he had not spoken to Donald Trump since the election was called in Biden’s favor on Saturday, but joked: “Mr President, I look forward to speaking with you.”

But Biden was solemn, almost downbeat, about Trump’s refusal to concede defeat.

“It’s an embarrassment,” quite frankly, he said in response to a press question.

He went on: “How can I say this tactfully? It will not help the president’s legacy. I think that...from my discussions with foreign leaders so far, they are hopeful that US democratic institutions are strong and have endured and at the end of the day it’s all going to come to fruition on January 20 [2021, the date when Biden will be inaugurated].”

 

At Joe Biden’s speech and press conference, the president-elect said: “We are already beginning the transition.”

“The fact that they are not willing to acknowledge that we have won at this point if not of much consequence in our planning and what we are able to do between now and January 20,” he said.

Biden said he hoped to avoid legal action to resist the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the result of last week’s election.

“Nothing will slow up our efforts to put things together,” he said of the transition team’s efforts to prepare to take power... “nothing is going to stop that.”

Biden promised that America will “get through this together” about the coronavirus pandemic.

“Families are reeling,” he said. He promised to expand the reach of Obamacare after taking office in January.

“We have a moral obligation to ensure that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a few,” Biden said.

Kamala Harris lamented the death toll in the coronavirus pandemic and warned that if the Affordable Care Act was struck down by the supreme court, “communities of color will be particularly hard hit” in the US.

“Joe Biden won the election decisively,” Harris said.

She said they won’t let Trump overturn the election.