From the campaign trail to the White House, President Joe Biden has repeatedly hammered his Democratic rivals for not embracing the Affordable Care Act.
In the last few weeks, he has made clear that he believes the GOP platform does not adequately address the challenges faced by middle-class Americans, including rising premiums, rising deductibles and rising deductives.
The vice president has also been more vocal about his desire to work with Democrats on some issues, including the environment.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Biden said the GOP party platform, adopted in September, does not include enough proposals for addressing rising health care costs.
Biden also said that his party should adopt a platform that is “based on reality.”
“We’re not living in a bubble, we’re not trying to say things are going to be OK and then we’re going to say they’re not,” Biden said.
“It’s just a fact that we’re in a very challenging time.”
Biden is also taking a more direct approach to addressing the rising costs of prescription drugs.
His administration is seeking billions of dollars to subsidize the cost of the new generic drugs, and Biden is asking the Food and Drug Administration to consider more aggressive restrictions on the drug companies’ ability to control pricing.
Biden has also proposed some measures aimed at improving access to health care, including an expansion of Medicaid and other state-based health insurance programs for low-income Americans.
The president’s plan to extend the payroll tax cut through 2024 was announced in September and includes a $3,000 cap on the amount of federal income tax a worker can pay on a tax return, a move that would reduce taxes paid by more than 30 million Americans, according to a bipartisan group of senators who are working on the legislation.
Biden’s plan would also increase the top rate on income over $250,000 to 39.6 percent from 35 percent, increase the estate tax and eliminate a deduction for state and local taxes.
Biden is the first sitting president to call out Republican congressional leaders on their opposition to a major tax increase.
“I am absolutely opposed to a tax increase on middle-income and working families.
And I would be absolutely opposed,” Biden told reporters at a news conference on Friday.
“The American people are going have to make their own decision about whether to continue to pay that tax.”
He also said Republicans were trying to pass a “massive tax cut for the rich,” and said the proposal would add $1 trillion to the deficit over a decade.
The new taxes on the wealthy would raise $2.5 trillion over a 10-year period, according the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Biden told the AP he believes Republicans are “out of touch with the needs of middle- and working-class families.”
Biden said that the party is trying to do the “right thing” and will not let the country “slip into a place where they’re paying higher taxes and higher rates than we are.”
“They have got to realize that this is the wrong place to go.
We are not going to do this,” Biden continued.
“We are going not to let our country slip into that kind of a place.”
Biden also discussed his personal financial struggles, including a $50,000 medical bill that he says is not unusual.
“If you want to know what my life was like, I have a very simple explanation.
It was not a great year.
It’s not a good year for people.
It really is a bad year for middle-classes.
It is a good reason for the American people to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough,'” Biden said in the interview.
“So, to be honest, I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of where I’m at,” Biden added.