Biden urges public to vote for Democrats so as not to lose social benefits

Miami, Nov 1 (EFE).- President Joe Biden on Tuesday in Florida said that Republicans want to end Social Security, Medicare for the elderly and other measures to make prescription drugs more accessible, and he urged Floridians to vote for candidates – specifically Democrats – who will not deprive them of those social benefits.

At his first public event on his visit to the Sunshine State at a community center in Hallandale Beach a week before the midterm elections in which Democrats could lose control of both the House of Representatives and Senate, Biden asked his audience to imagine what would happen if those social protections were ended by a Republican-controlled Congress.

He said that it is “crystal clear” that that is what could happen if the GOP obtains a legislative congressional majority in the upcoming balloting.

The president was especially harsh in his remarks about Republican National Committee head and Florida Sen. Rick Scott, about whom he emphasized that he’s going beyond simply calling for Social Security and Medicare to be reviewed every five years.

Biden said that Scott wants the programs to be voted on each year, thus raising the possibility that one or both could simply be ended soon after a Republican-controlled Congress were seated.

He also had pointed comments to make about Florida’s other senator, Marco Rubio, also a Republican, who is seeking reelection on Nov. 8.

Biden said that Rubio “disappointed” him for having voted, just as all of his fellow GOP lawmakers did, against the Inflation Reduction Act, meaning that – among other things – he voted against placing limits on the “astronomical” prices for medications and allowing big pharmaceutical companies to do what they want and set prices for products that are vital for many people.

The big pharmaceutical products corporations were other targets in the president’s speech, which was loaded with figures and directed at the general public, but particularly at people over age 65, who make up 21 percent of Florida’s population.

Broadly speaking, Biden said that while Democrats are committed to increasing Medicare benefits and reducing premiums, Republicans want to cut benefits and increase the age at which people may start taking advantage of that program.

Before the president spoke, Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbit Wasserman Schultz and a 70-something citizen also addressed the crowd.

Biden’s visit to South Florida is aimed at spurring Democrats to get out and vote in a state where Republicans have been gaining strength since the 2016 presidential vote that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

Besides the Hallandale Beach event, Biden is scheduled to attend an event at an African American university in Miami Gardens where Charlie Crist – the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, but who is trailing GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in the voter surveys – and Val Demings, who is vying with Rubio for his Senate seat and is also trailing in the polls will speak.

“This to me is one of the most important races in the country,” Biden said. “Charlie is running against Donald Trump incarnate,” he added, referring to DeSantis.

Biden said in his speech that he was proud of being the first president to allow Medicare to negotiate the costs of prescription drugs and to place a 2,000 dollar cap on out-of pocket medical expenses and a 35 dollar monthly cap per prescription of insulin.

He also emphasized that the Inflation Reduction Act saves 13 million Americans an average of about $800 per year on their medical insurance premiums.

EFE ar/jip/szg/bp

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