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Biden Makes Health Care a Focus With North Carolina Visit

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Biden Makes Health Care a Focus With North Carolina Visit

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President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are expected to visit North Carolina, a key presidential battleground, on Tuesday to highlight their administration’s work on expanding access to affordable health care as Democrats seek a contrast with Republicans on the issue.

Democrats are celebrating the 14th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this month, along with the 20 million people who signed up for coverage under its plans this year — the most since the law was enacted in 2010. The White House plans to use the benchmark to criticize Republicans, who have spent the past decade attempting to repeal parts or all of the law.

Former President Donald J. Trump, seeking a second term, revived his attacks on the Affordable Care Act toward the end of last year, calling it for to be “replaced.” Just last week, the Republican Study Committee, a large group of House Republicans, released a budget proposal that took aim at the law’s funding.

“If they got their way, these Republican officials would want a country where 45 million Americans — including 1.4 North Carolinians — would lose their health insurance,” Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to the president, said during a call with reporters, referring to G.O.P. lawmakers’ proposals.

The president and the vice president will speak at an official event in Raleigh on Tuesday before attending a campaign fund-raiser in the state later in the day. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who signed North Carolina’s Medicaid expansion into law last year, will join them for part of the day.

One of the last stops on Mr. Biden’s “Month of Action” tour of battleground states, the visit underscores North Carolina’s growing significance to Democrats as they work to defeat Mr. Trump in November. Mr. Biden lost the state by less than two points in 2020 — the same year that he carried Georgia, a state he visited earlier this month, by fewer than 12,000 votes.

Some Democrats have expressed more confidence in the party’s prospects in North Carolina, pointing to a governor’s race that is likely to be among the most closely watched in the country. Josh Stein, the state’s Democratic attorney general, is running against Mark Robinson, the Republican lieutenant governor, who has a history of inflammatory and divisive statements. Georgia, for its part, does not have a potentially galvanizing top-of-ticket race outside of the presidency. Representatives for Mr. Stein did not confirm whether he would attend Tuesday’s events.

Still, Mr. Biden’s campaign is maintaining its focus on both states. In a memo highlighting the Biden campaign’s presence in the South, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, said the campaign had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars onto the airwaves in both states, through advertisements that focus on Black, Latino and Asian American voters. Georgia and North Carolina, she said, make up “a critical piece” of the campaign’s path to victory.

“Our campaign will engage voters across these states, from urban centers to the suburbs and rural areas, where there are more Democratic voters than any other region in the country,” Ms. Chavez Rodriguez said.

Democrats have found electoral success by running on health care before: in 2018, when Mr. Trump and his administration focused on undoing the Affordable Care Act.

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