(CN) — Standing apart from fellow Democratic contenders backing “Medicare for All,” former Vice President Joe Biden pledged Monday to defend the health care law known as Obamacare at all costs if elected.
“I understand the appeal of Medicare for All, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare,” Biden said in a video announcement. “And I’m not for that.”
Going on to trumpet the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a historic achievement for President Barack Obama, Biden said he will “do everything in my power to protect it and build on it” if elected.
Biden’s top competitors for the Democratic nomination — Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders — have all expressed an interest in transitioning to a government-funded health care model.
A centrist approach is no doubt designed to set Biden apart on the campaign trail.
More so, it places him opposite President Trump, who recently asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the law, as well as Congressional Republicans who have been attempting to repeal the law since its passage in 2010.
Biden also released details on his plan to build on the ACA, saying Americans will get a “public health insurance option like Medicare” that would reduce costs for patients through negotiations with health care providers.
The Biden plan would allow people to opt in to the program, giving people the ability to choose between his government-funded program, private insurance or going without coverage.
In addition, it proposes expanding coverage to low-income Americans, barring drug manufacturers from setting unfairly lofty drug prices, expanding access to contraceptives, protecting abortion access, and expanding access to mental health care.
Biden is expected to talk further about his health care initiatives at a presidential forum in Iowa later today. Read more about the plan on his website.