Biden and Obama look to capitalize on Trump’s latest threats to repeal Obamacare

President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama will team up to rally supporters around the Affordable Care Act’s 14th anniversary this weekend as Democrats make their latest move to capitalize on former President Donald Trump’s threats to repeal Obamacare.

Biden and Obama, along with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will hold a national organizing call on Saturday to mobilize supporters “around protecting the ACA from Trump’s attacks,” a campaign official said. The call is part of a weekend of action to rally voters around the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature accomplishment, which the former president signed into law on March 23, 2010.

It comes as the campaign has been eager to make health care a key issue in the 2024 campaign after Trump resurrected talk of repealing Obamacare if he secures a second term in the White House.

Although the Affordable Care Act became law without Republican support, and the GOP spent much of the remainder of Obama’s time in office trying to repeal it, the law has surged in popularity since Trump took office in 2017. Biden campaign officials believe preserving the law is a potent political issue, as Obamacare sign-ups for 2024 coverage hit a record 21.3 million.

Trump vowed to repeal the law when he became president but failed to do so – in large part because neither he nor congressional Republicans had a solid replacement health care plan. The last major repeal measure failed in Congress in the first year of Trump’s term, when the late Sen. John McCain joined Democrats and a few other Republicans in ending the effort.

That was around the last time the law was viewed unfavorably by more Americans than favorably. Today, a near record 59% of Americans view the Affordable Care Act favorably, according to KFF, a nonpartisan research group.

More than 40 million Americans now have health care coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, up from just under 27 million in 2017, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Biden and advocates for the landmark health reform law are also highlighting its other key benefits, including protecting those with pre-existing conditions from being charged more by insurers, offering free preventive care, including cancer screenings, cholesterol tests and annual checkups, providing increased access to mental health and substance abuse treatment through Medicaid and allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.

Trump once again talks of repeal

The Affordable Care Act would be far harder to repeal today since it is more embedded in the nation’s health care system than it was in 2017.

Nevertheless, Trump last year began renewing his vows to repeal the act in his latest run for the White House – to the surprise and dismay of some of his own advisers.

“We’re gonna fight for much better health care than Obamacare,” Trump said in a speech in Newton, Iowa earlier this year. “Obamacare is a catastrophe. Nobody talks about it. You know, without John McCain, we would have had it done.”

Biden’s campaign plans to hold more than 20 in-person events in battleground states with local elected officials and individuals benefiting from the health care law starting on Thursday. There will also be an advertising and social media push around the anniversary.

The call marks the latest collaboration between Biden and his former boss in the 2024 campaign. They released a video last year vowing to protect and expand Obamacare amid threats from Trump, and Obama has helped with some of the campaign’s fundraising appeals.

Biden and Obama also are set to appear together in-person next Thursday for a New York City fundraiser featuring the two presidents and former President Bill Clinton.

CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf contributed to this report

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