As the 2020 election approaches, educating yourself about the candidates and their platforms is important. Healthcare is a particularly critical issue this election cycle, so we're providing you with everything we know thus far about Democratic nominee Joe Biden's healthcare plan ahead of the presidential election.
Biden Plans to Build on the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare, ACA, or PPACA) was a healthcare reform law enacted in March 2010 with the goal of making health insurance more affordable, expanding Medicaid programming, and supporting medical methods created to lower healthcare costs overall.
"Instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing healthcare costs, and making our healthcare system less complex to navigate," the official Biden website states. Biden wants to provide every American with access to affordable healthcare, stopping Donald Trump's reversal of the progress made by Obamacare.
He plans to insure more than 97 percent of Americans by giving them a choice to purchase public health insurance like Medicare. Similar to Medicare, this option will make healthcare more affordable for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals, doctors, and other providers. Under this public option, copays will be covered, and it will be more affordable for small businesses to offer insurance coverage for their employees, Biden's website explains.
Biden also plans to increase the value of tax credits to lower premiums and extend coverage to more working Americans. "The Biden plan will help middle class families by eliminating the 400 percent income cap on tax credit eligibility and lowering the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86 percent of income to 8.5 percent," his site states.
Additionally, Biden plans to expand coverage to low-income Americans, citing that presently, state politics "is getting in the way of coverage for millions of low-income Americans," according to his site. Regardless of which state you reside in, Biden's plan aims to address this issue by premium-free access to the public option for the 4.9 million people who would be eligible for Medicaid but currently are not due to their state not acting on the expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
Biden Wants People to Have Affordable, Quality Healthcare and a Less-Complex Healthcare System
"Today, even for people with health insurance, our healthcare system is too expensive and too hard to navigate," Biden's site states. By providing healthcare for all and making the system easier to navigate, the cost of insurance and care will be reduced, according to his site. His goal is for all Americans to have new, affordable options and to provide middle-class families with a premium tax credit to pay for coverage.
Biden Plans to Stop the Abuse of Power by Prescription Drug Corporations
Biden wants to put a stop to "runaway drug prices" by repealing the exception allowing drug corporations to negotiate with Medicare over drug prices. The plan will also limit launch prices for drugs with no competition "and are being abusively priced by manufacturers," according to his site. Limiting price increases for all brands, biotech, and generic drugs to the general inflation rate; allowing people to buy prescription drugs from other countries; terminating the pharmaceutical corporations' tax break for advertisement spending; and improving the supply of quality generics are all a part of The Biden Plan.
Biden Says Healthcare Is a Right For All, Not a Privilege
"Joe Biden believes that every American — regardless of gender, race, income, sexual orientation, or zip code — should have access to affordable and quality healthcare," his site says. Biden wants to:
- Expand access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to abortion.
- Restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
- Rescind the Mexico City Policy (this rule bars the US federal government from supporting important global health efforts, like HIV/AIDS, in developing countries because those organizations provide information on abortion services).
- Reduce the high maternal mortality rate.
- Defend healthcare protection for all regardless of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
- Achieve mental health parity and expand access to mental healthcare.
Biden's healthcare plan is just one key piece of his platform, and we recommend familiarizing yourself with the other areas of his campaign, in addition to how a Biden-Harris administration would impact your life. Here are a few suggested recommendations to continue educating yourself:
- Where Kamala Harris stands on key political issues in 2020
- How Kamala Harris's policies will impact families
- How a Biden-Harris administration will support mothers