President Joe Biden is calling for the extension of a subsidy boost under the Affordable Care Act that is set to expire after 2025, with the upcoming election having significant implications for health care policy. He emphasized the impact of enhanced subsidies under the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act on ACA enrollment, which has reached a record high of 45 million people. Biden highlighted the tax credits he enacted to save an average of $800 per person per year, reducing health care premiums for millions of working families, and called on Congress to make the expanded affordable health care tax credit permanent to prevent millions from losing coverage.

The fate of the funding for these subsidies depends on the outcome of the November election, with Biden viewing it as a legacy to protect. In contrast, his Republican rival, Donald Trump, has not addressed the issue of funding for health care subsidies or proposed an alternative health care plan. Trump’s campaign spokesperson mentioned that Trump aims to make health care more affordable, among other economic policies, but did not provide details on how he would handle the subsidies. The ACA provides tax subsidies for individuals up to 400% of the federal poverty level to obtain coverage, with Biden and the Democratic-controlled Congress recently adding a provision to cap premiums at 8.5% of an individual’s income.

Biden criticized Republicans for opposing the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act, which established and extended the enhanced subsidies, respectively. He warned supporters in North Carolina that a victory for Trump and Republicans could result in renewed efforts to dismantle the ACA, endangering the health insurance coverage of many Americans. Trump, during his time in office, attempted to roll back the ACA through various means, such as zeroing out the penalty for not having insurance. As a presidential candidate in 2023, Trump reiterated his desire to replace the ACA with a better health care plan, criticizing Republicans who did not end the law in 2017.

Despite Trump’s rhetoric against the ACA, he has not presented a detailed plan to improve health care or maintain the ACA’s benefits at a lower cost. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that Trump needs to make a compelling case if he wants Republicans to revisit the issue. While Trump claims to want to enhance the ACA, he has not provided specifics on how he plans to achieve this. Biden continues to advocate for extending the subsidy boost under the ACA, emphasizing the importance of affordable health care for millions of Americans. With the election approaching, the future of health care policy and the ACA remains a central issue for voters to consider.

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