The run-up to the 2020 Presidential election saw Democratic candidate Joe Biden extensively and effectively using the healthcare plank. His promises included controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, cheaper prescription drugs and introducing a government-aided health plan to the Affordable Care Act. Now, having won the election, President Biden faces the real challenge of attaining his health agenda. Experts feel Biden is going to face a good number of roadblocks in accomplishing his polls promises owing to his party’s marginal majority.
- Bringing the pandemic under control within 100 days of assuming office tops his agenda. His 100-days Covid promises include vaccinating 100 million Americans and safe reopening of all the schools. To make the vaccine distribution process smoother, Biden may invest $25 billion. He also plans to make vaccines available to all Americans for free, double the number of drive-thru testing centers and set up a pandemic testing board.
- We may also see the introduction of a government-aided health plan in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was enacted by the Barack Obama administration. “I’ll not only restore Obamacare, I’ll build on it. You can keep your private insurance. If you like it, you can choose a Medicare-like public option,” Biden had said at one oh his election rallies. The promise may be one of Biden’s most ambitious pledges, but experts said that its implementation is extremely unlikely as not all Democrats are in its favour. Some of Biden’s colleagues are pressing for a single-payer health plan like “Medicare for All.”
- Biden also intends to reduce prescription drug prices by as much as 60%. To achieve this, he proposed to repeal the law that disallows Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, and importing prescription drugs. This step may not go down well with the pharmaceutical industry, which in all likelihood will lobby hard to defeat it.