WILMINGTON, Del. (NewsNation Now) — President-elect Joe Biden pledged to protect the Affordable Care Act Tuesday, just hours after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over the health care law’s future.
Biden defended the signature health care law of President Barack Obama’s administration in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
He called the Republican-backed challenge to the ACA in the Supreme Court “cruel and needlessly divisive.”
The high court ruled eight years ago to leave intact the essential components of the law known as “Obamacare,” but President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are arguing to have it overturned. If the 6-3 conservative court agrees with the GOP, millions of Americans could lose their health care coverage.
Biden promised on Tuesday that, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, he will enact reforms to expand coverage when he’s in office in January.
But the president-elect also acknowledged issues with the ACA, promising to fix them.
He said his transition team is working to develop a plan to get Americans universal health care and lower health care costs “as soon as humanly possible.”
Following his speech, Biden’s transition team issued a statement on Twitter, saying “It’s wrong for healthcare to be made less accessible and more expensive—especially during a global pandemic.”
“The Biden-Harris administration will fight to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, so every American has access to quality, affordable health care,” the team wrote.
In his first week as president-elect, Biden has been focusing on health care. On Monday, Biden unveiled a new task force to help shape his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. He also delivered a speech on his plans to fight the virus, emphasizing the importance of mask-wearing while several companies rush to develop a vaccine.
The remarks came on the same day that the U.S. surpassed 10 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Cases are rapidly rising in several states as the country moves into the cold winters months.
President Donald Trump has not conceded. He’s pursuing various legal challenges to the election outcome in court.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.