What It Means for COVID, Health Care
November 7, 2020 – Joe Biden’s victory sets the stage for healthcare to become a top priority of his presidency.
The former vice president outlined a big health agenda: step up the federal response to COVID-19, strengthen the affordable care law, create a new “public option” to cover uninsured Americans, and expand Medicare and Medicaid.
But the president-elect’s long list of health-related things to do is likely to face serious hurdles in Congress and the courts, experts say.
For example, Biden’s ambitious COVID-19 proposals – including his recent call for a national mask mandate – could be misled by legal challenges and face political hurdles on Capitol Hill, where he could face a divided Congress.
Joseph Antos, PhD, a health policy expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, predicts that Biden will encounter the same type of “deadlock” in Congress that President Barack Obama encountered during his second term.
“We have a situation that has been like this for a long, long time – a lack of cooperation, a lack of recognition that either side is able to move beyond their own electoral views to deal with the issues that knows the country. ”
Antos also suggests that Biden could also face enormous political pressure to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, including record unemployment and business closures, before anything else.
“I think these will really be efforts to promote economic development and promote the economy,” he said.
In addition, Biden’s plans to expand Obamacare may face a new challenge from the Supreme Court in the coming year. This month, the High Court will hear a new case aimed at overturning the law.
Even so, experts say Biden’s plans for COVID-19 and health care expansion are likely to set his tenure in the White House as a central focus of his presidency.
“Health care will be at the top of the president’s priority list,” says Sabrina Corlette, JD, co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. “I do think, however, that the administration will be very concerned about the response to COVID-19 and the economic fallout… especially the first year.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from a Biden presidency.
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