Biden's Democratic National Convention doubled down on ObamaCare, as polls suggest it should

Joe Biden talks health care
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/NBC News)

The main argument of the Democratic National Convention, at least over the first two nights, is that presidential nominee Joe Biden is a kind, decent person who will work to unite America and mend frayed external alliances, and is at least acceptable to a generous handful of prominent Republicans. But there has been some policy on display as well.

Tuesday night included a robust defense of the Affordable Care Act, one of the Obama administration's signature achievements — and a law Trump failed to dismantle in Congress and is currently, actively trying to kill at the Supreme Court. Biden also promised to expand health care and lower drug prices, though the televised segments were light on the details (those are on his website).

Tuesday's DNC had an ad-style video showcasing Biden's role in passing the ACA and tying it to Biden's own grief-filled personal story. "This fight is personal for Joe, as personal as it gets," the narrator says. "So when Joe says he has a plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, protect those with pre-existing conditions, and expand access to every American, he's thinking about how having having health care saved his boys. ... Joe Biden knows what affordable health care means to American families because of what it's meant to his."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Biden himself also spoke with several people who credited the ACA with literally saving their lives and/or their family's financial survival.

The DNC also featured the story of Ady Barkan, an ALS patient who first gained national prominence when Republicans came close to repealing the ACA. Two years later, his paralysis has left him without a voice, and he spoke at the DNC via a computer. "We live in the richest country in history and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right: Everyone living in America should get the health care they need," he said, pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Even during this terrible crisis, Donald Trump and Republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people's health insurance."

Health care is one of the issues where polls consistently show Biden with a sizable advantage over Trump, and a Fox News poll released last week found that "by a 20-point margin, more voters have a favorable than an unfavorable opinion of ObamaCare (56-36 percent), the most positive views recorded in a Fox News survey."

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.