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President Biden visited Kempsville Recreation Center Tuesday, February 28, to talk about affordable healthcare.

“Too many folks lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering what’ll happen if their spouse gets cancer or their child gets sick or something happens to them,” Biden said.

Biden’s visit comes on the heels of the end of the 2023 General Assembly session.

Lawmakers rejected a measure that would have established a board to regulate drug prices across the state – a similar model to ones in Maryland and Colorado.

“Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any nation on Earth,” Biden said.

Biden highlighted his administration’s work to protect Medicare and Medicaid. Those are government subsidized health insurance programs for low-income people, children and older Americans.

“Today more Americans have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act than ever before," Biden said.

States can expand Medicaid to cover more people with the federal government funding a portion of the program.

Virginia opted for that under former Governor Ralph Northam, making the program available to an estimated 400 thousand more Virginians.

North Carolina lawmakers recently revived the conversation about Medicaid expansion.

Republicans there seem prepared to compromise on some of the key elements of an expansion plan they previously opposed.

On the national level, Republicans are continuing their push to repeal the Affordable Care Act – a move Biden said would burden millions of Americans who struggle to find and pay for coverage.

"For millions of Americans, healthcare hangs in the balance," Biden said. "Will they continue to fight to cut the Affordable Care Act -- and make health insurance more expensive for millions of Americans?"

Congresswoman Jen Kiggans, who represents Virginia Beach, issued a video statement welcoming President Biden to her district, saying "It's an honor to host him here, but I really wish the purpose of his visit was less partisan."

Nearly 40 million people are enrolled in some form of ACA coverage – including 22 million in Medicaid expansions – for 2023.

"That's what all Americans deserve," Biden said. "The peace of mind that comes from knowing that if an illness strikes or an accident occurs, you can get quality medical care, and recover."