Biden defends Obama-era health care law

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Supreme Court mulls the fate of the Affordable Care Act after suit seeks to end it

President-elect Joe Biden is championing the Obama administration’s signature health law as it goes before the Supreme Court in a case that could overturn it.

Mr. Biden’s speech reflects the importance he is putting on health care as he prepares to take office in January amid the worst pandemic in more than a century. He’s launching his transition process this week as the coronavirus surges across the country. The U.S. surpassed 10 million cases on Monday.

Mr. Biden also focused on health care on Monday as he appealed to Americans to put aside their differences and wear masks to protect themselves and their neighbours from the virus.

“We could save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democratic or Republican lives, American lives,” Mr. Biden said. “Please, I implore you, wear a mask.”

‘Public option’

The suit challenging the health care law was brought in America’s largest conservative State, Texas, and is backed by Mr. Trump and top Republicans. It asks the Supreme Court to declare the law’s mandate to buy health insurance unconstitutional because Congress had previously repealed the penalties for noncompliance.

After serving as President Barack Obama’s Vice-President for eight years, Mr. Biden has pledged to build on the Affordable Care Act while championing a “public option” that would allow more people to opt into government-sponsored health insurance even as millions of others could stick with their current, usually employer-based coverage. But such changes could be difficult to enact if Democrats fail to win a Senate majority. Control of the chamber hinges on two runoff races in Georgia

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