Biden promises to build on Affordable Care Act

COLUMBUS — President Joe Biden, on his first trip to Ohio since taking office, promised to build on the Affordable Care Act by using the health care changes available in the newly enacted $1.9 trillion “America Rescue Plan.”

Biden spoke after a tour of the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University in Columbus Tuesday afternoon. It came on the 11 year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act. Referring to the ACA, Biden said “America does big things.”

He said he had promised last year that if he were elected President he would build on the foundation of the ACA.

“It ( the Rescue Plan ) does that by making it more affordable,” Biden said.

He said the recovery bill from Congress lowers costs for people using the ACA. According to Biden, a family of four could save up to $200 per month for their health care coverage. Additionally, Biden said four out of five Americans could get some coverage for just $10 per month. Besides the cost benefits, Biden said the new legislation makes it easier to sign up for ACA coverage and he announced that the sign-up period has been extended to August 15.

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In closing, Biden urged people to get the coronavirus vaccine. “Get vaccinated when its your turn,” Biden said. The state of Ohio recently permitted vaccine providers to administer the vaccine to people age 16 and up if they have open appointments.

While on a tour of the James Cancer Hospital Biden got a close look at their new cancer fighting technology. His interest in it is personal. His son Beau died at age 46 of a brain tumor in 2015.

During his remarks in Columbus, Biden offered condolences to the families of the victims of the mass shooting in Colorado. When asked if he has “the political capital to make changes on gun measures now?” The President responded, “I hope so. I don’t know. I haven’t done any counting yet,” in an apparent reference to counting of potential votes for a gun reform bill

When Biden arrived at John Glenn International airport he was met by Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife Fran. Biden and DeWine served in the U.S. Senate together for 12 years.

Not everyone was supportive of the President’s trip to Ohio. About a dozen protestors carrying flags demonstrated outside of the hospital during Biden’s visit. One of the flags read “Biden is not my President.” The protestors said they were there to show their support for former President Donald J. Trump.

In a written statement earlier, Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Paduchik said rather than “taking a victory lap” in Ohio on the recovery plan passage, Biden should be back in Washington solving the crisis on the nation’s southern border.