Joe Biden is taking an aggressive approach to defending the Affordable Care Act, challenging not just President Trump but also some of his Democratic rivals who want to replace the current insurance system with a fully government-run model, per the AP. The former vice president will spend much of the coming week talking about his approach to health care. On Monday, Biden unveiled a plan that would add a "public option" to the 2010 health care overhaul, with expanded coverage paid for by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. The former vice president's health care proposal is anchored by a "Medicare-like" plan that any American, including the 150 million-plus Americans now covered by job-based insurance, could buy on ACA exchanges.
"I understand the appeal of Medicare for All," Biden said in a video posted Monday morning. "But folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare. And I'm not for that." The proposal would make existing premium subsidies more generous and make more middle-income households eligible for them, lowering their out-of-pocket costs. It also would extend premium-free coverage to lower-income Americans who have been denied eligibility to Medicaid in Republican-run states that refused to participate in the Affordable Care Act. The campaign puts the taxpayer cost at $750 billion over 10 years, with the campaign saying that would be covered by returning the top marginal income tax to 39.6%, the rate before the 2017 GOP tax cuts. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)