What will a Joe Biden health care plan look like?
25 March 2021
With the world’s highest rate of COVID-19 deaths, it is fair to say that there is a strong spotlight shining on the current state of the American healthcare system and how the Joe Biden health care plan intends to improve it. Unsurprisingly, Joe Biden has made fixing the broken system one of his top priorities since taking the oath of office on January 20th.
Highlighted as a clear area of concern for the democratic candidate in his 2020 presidential campaign, the transformation of the country's healthcare regime presents a significant challenge to Biden and his team since moving into The White House.
The new president of the USA not only faces the complexity of a global pandemic as he strives to make long-term improvements but of also reversing years of damage created by his predecessor.
Even though Donald Trump, the former leader of America, continually promised a new and better healthcare plan, he failed to ever introduce one.
Joe Biden’s goals for the healthcare system have been clear from the start, with his main objectives being to simplify the complex system, increase access to affordable insurance and cut the cost of prescription drugs. Some of the Biden health care proposals are as follows:
In stark contrast to his predecessor, Biden has set up a scientific advisory board to assist him with coronavirus and the vaccination process. The President has asked all Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office. Although mask mandates vary from state to state across the country, Biden is urging local and state governments to make mask-wearing on federal property and interstate transport a requirement.
Biden has also vowed to administer 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days and is on track to fulfil this promise. Several mass-vaccination sites have opened across the US, including New York's Yankee Stadium. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has written to Biden, committing to provide every team stadium as a mass-vaccination site.
In a move mirroring that of the UK, Biden has agreed to get first doses administered as quickly as they can be produced and supplied, rather than holding back vaccine supplies for the second dose.
The country saw 1.74 million new vaccinations a day, rapidly moving towards President Joe Biden's promise for all US adults to be vaccinated by end of May.
Affordable Care Act
Around 16% of Americans have no medical insurance whatsoever, leaving them particularly vulnerable to exorbitant healthcare bills at the height of a pandemic.
To help tackle this pressing issue, Biden signed two executive orders to restore the Affordable Care Act and to rebuild Medicaid in his first week of presidency. These orders will enable more Americans, in particular those on low incomes, to have greater access to affordable health insurance.
As a direct result of COVID-19, job losses have spiked in the past year, leaving many Americans without health insurance provided by their employers. Biden’s move to reopen the federal health insurance marketplace is intended to reform the healthcare system amid the pandemic.
Lowering prescription drug pricing
The prices of prescription drugs in the US have skyrocketed and approximately 25% of Americans find it difficult to afford prescription drugs due to high out-of-pocket costs.
In an effort to tackle this, Biden plans to target the pharmaceutical industry for the high price of prescription drugs, due to inflation. The plan intends to reverse the ban on Medicare by negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies and proposes to limit cost inflation for all branded, biotech and generic drugs.
Biden has frozen Trump’s rule requiring Federally Qualified Health Centers, which offer primary care services to underprivileged areas, to pass on discounts they receive on insulin and EpiPens to their patients.
The Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to defer the completion of a controversial rebate rule until 2023. The regulation would essentially prohibit drug makers from providing rebates to pharmacy benefit managers and insurers. Instead, pharmaceutical companies will be encouraged to pass the discounts directly to their patients.
Undocumented immigrants can buy in
The Affordable Care Act did not allow undocumented immigrants to buy into the healthcare system previously. However, Biden’s plan will now enable undocumented immigrants to buy into the public option, though it would not be funded.
Including undocumented immigrants in his healthcare plan shows just how progressive the Democratic Party has become - a distinct contrast to his predecessor.
President Biden plans to reverse Trump’s gag rules that refuse federal funding for family planning. This will positively impact organisations that provide abortion referrals, as well as aid groups that perform abortions or inform patients about them.
The President has also removed the US from a 2020 resolution known as the Geneva Consensus, a non-mandatory agreement of more than 30 countries that oppose abortion.
The US healthcare system has already seen some dramatic improvements since the inauguration of Joe Biden. America is also likely to return to global partnerships such as the World Health Organization, which could have drastic implications across the world when it comes to vaccine development. Download our white paper to see how a framework of integrated processes, supported by appropriate technology, can help health providers in being able to successfully balance cost with care.