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Biden Pushes Lower Health Care Costs and Takes a Dig at Trump

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Biden Pushes Lower Health Care Costs and Takes a Dig at Trump

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President Biden visited New Hampshire on Monday to talk up proposals in his newly released budget that he said would reduce health care costs for Americans, part of a general-election push to lay out his vision for a second term and convince voters of the success of his first one.

Mr. Biden highlighted pledges he made at his State of the Union address last week to cap insulin prices at $35 per month for all consumers, make permanent expanded tax credits available under the Affordable Care Act and limit out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to $2,000 annually for all Americans.

“It could be transformational,” Mr. Biden said during a speech to about 175 invited guests at the Y.M.C.A. Allard Center in Goffstown, N.H.

The new proposals are expansions of health care policies that Mr. Biden has already enacted, including capping the monthly price of insulin and annual out-of-pocket drug costs for those on Medicare. He talked extensively about health care during his speech to the nation last week, attacking “Big Pharma.”

But not many Americans are aware of his efforts — reflecting a wider problem Mr. Biden has in persuading voters that his first-term accomplishments have earned him another four years in the White House over his predecessor, Donald J. Trump.

For instance, only about a quarter of Americans knew that Mr. Biden had capped the price of insulin, even though such proposals had received broad public support, according to a December poll by KFF. Even many voters over 65 — those directly affected by the new policies — were not familiar with Mr. Biden’s measures, part of the Inflation Reduction Act enacted in 2022, the poll found.

Republicans in Congress are likely to oppose much of Mr. Biden’s budget.

New Hampshire, which has one of the oldest populations in the nation, was an apt setting for Mr. Biden to discuss health care. Although he won New Hampshire comfortably in 2020, the state has swingy tendencies and a Republican governor. This year the governor’s office is up for grabs, and the race is expected to be competitive.

On Monday, Mr. Biden’s performance was less energetic and loud than his State of the Union and two campaign events he held in Pennsylvania and Georgia last week. At times, it was difficult to hear him. Perhaps that reflected the less exuberant setting, an official policy rollout hosted by the White House, not a political rally organized by his campaign. The crowd was seated in white chairs on an indoor tennis court that had been repurposed for Mr. Biden’s speech.

Mr. Biden did grow more voluble when he recited lines from his campaign stump speeches, especially when they dealt with Mr. Trump. He noted that the former president suggested, during an interview that aired earlier on Monday, that he would consider “cutting” Social Security and Medicare spending.

“I’m never going to allow that to happen,” Mr. Biden said. “I won’t cut Social Security, I won’t cut Medicare.”

The relatively quiet atmosphere at the New Hampshire event made it possible to hear a Trump supporter outside the Y.M.C.A. shouting “Let’s Go Brandon,” a coded insult against Mr. Biden, over a loudspeaker. About a dozen pro-Trump demonstrators had assembled there, despite the New Hampshire cold.

They were joined by two people demonstrating against Israel’s war in Gaza, a reminder that Mr. Biden faces a protest movement over the Mideast conflict from some of his own supporters that is complicating his re-election bid.

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