Things That Matter

Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

In Joe Biden’s recent CNN-moderated town hall meeting, an undecided voter described her mother’s health problems and ensuing financial struggles. 

“My mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma  two years ago at the age of 66,” said the woman. “The cost of her care has been astronomical. However, my family has been fortunate that both she and my father have long careers at good companies that afforded them the opportunity to save for retirement, which is helping to pay for her care.”

The undecided voter then posed a question to Joe Biden: “What is your plan to make healthcare affordable so Americans don’t need to drain their savings?”

Biden, as usual, responded with passion. “What I would do is make sure we reinstate the Affordable Care Act,” he said. “And add the public option to that so that nobody in the United States of America would go without being able to be covered for what they need.” He added, “Healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a right”. 

The undecided voter Biden spoke with isn’t the only one worried about the costs associated with healthcare. Latinos are worried too. 

Like 25-year-old Isabella Prado (a third generation Mexican-American) of Denver, Colorado, who doesn’t know what her health insurance plan is once she turns 26 and is no longer on her mom’s Medicaid plan. “I’m not even that old but I’m already having problems,” she told Mitú. “And I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, what am I going to do when I don’t have health insurance?”

Latino voters, by and large, seem to agree with Prado’s concerns. In a survey conducted by Telemundo in conjunction with Buzzfeed, it was found that 51% of Latino voters between the ages of 18 and 35 said that “affordable healthcare for all” is one of the motivating factors behind their desire to vote. 

Prado explained to Mitú that she believes healthcare is a right. “Somebody doesn’t choose to be unhealthy, or choose to have cancer or choose to have psychological problems. That’s not a choice,” she explained. “Because somebody can’t afford healthcare, they deserve to die? Or somebody with cancer and they can’t afford the treatment?”

The Trump Administration and the Republican Party have made it abundantly clear that they do not believe healthcare is a universal right. 

“America didn’t become great through handouts,” Trump told Bloomberg Politics in 2016. “You have some guy with no college degree working a minimum wage job; no ambition, no goals, nothing to show for it. Yet for some reason, the [Obama] administration believes he – and millions of people like him, should have access to health insurance. It’s outrageous.”

As Biden further explained in his Town Hall meeting, now is not the time to be taking access to affordable healthcare lightly. “In the middle of this pandemic, what’s the president doing? He’s in federal court trying to do away with the Affordable Care Act.”  

Prado also agreed that President Trump’s failure to lead America effectively through the COVID-19 crisis is unforgivable. 

“It’s honestly disgusting,” she told Mitú. “For someone like my mom who has preexisting health conditions, who has heart failure, her life literally depends on people taking this seriously. When the leader of your country doesn’t even take it seriously, how is anybody else supposed to?”

Biden agrees, explaining in his town hall meeting that the devastating impact of COVID-19 proves, without a doubt, that the time to expand access to affordable healthcare is now. 

“We have to make sure…that any costs relating to COVID are, in fact, free. [And that] the Federal Government guarantees it,” Biden said. “One of the reasons why people aren’t going in and getting tested is because they’re afraid of the bill they’re going to receive. They’re afraid of what’s going to happen.”

As voters from marginalized communities, it can be easy to feel helplessness when these major issues loom large. But it is worth repeating: your vote does matter. 

Togethers, Millenials and Gen Zers make up 37% of eligible voters, surpassing the electorate of Baby Boomers. Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the United States, making up 13.3% of all eligible voters.The future is in our hands. Some elections are razor-thin, relying on swing states like Florida or Arizona to determine their outcomes.

The time to create a voting plan–whether it’s early voting, mail-in voting, or in-person voting the day-of–is now. If you support expanded access to affordable healthcare coverage, voting early is a great way to show your support.

Go to IWillVote.com or VoyaVotar.com and text TODOS to 30330 today to learn what voting choices you have in your community and get information on where and when to vote. Every single one of us needs to do our part. The future depends on it.

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