by Fran Dance, Charlotte County Dems
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, with Vice President Biden standing by his side. Because of Obamacare, over 100 million people no longer worry that an insurance company will deny coverage or charge higher premiums just because they have a pre-existing condition – whether cancer or diabetes or heart disease or a mental health challenge. Insurance companies can no longer set annual or lifetime limits on coverage. Roughly 20 million additional Americans obtained the peace of mind that came with health insurance. Young people who are in transition from school to a job can stay covered by their parents’ plan until age 26.
As president, Biden will protect the Affordable Care Act from Republican attacks. He plans to build upon the Affordable Care Act to give Americans more choice, reduce health care costs, and make our health care system less complex to navigate.
GIVE EVERY AMERICAN ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE
Under the Affordable Care Act, the number of Americans lacking health insurance fell from 44 million to 27 million – an almost 40% drop. But President Trump’s persistent efforts to sabotage Obamacare through executive action, failed legislation and the stacked courts have reversed this progress. In fact, if the latest Supreme Court challenge succeeds, more than 23 million Americans will lose their coverage.
As president, Biden will not only stop this reversal of the progress made by Obamacare, but build on the Affordable Care Act to insure more than an estimated 97% of Americans by:
- Giving Americans a new choice, a public health insurance option like Medicare. As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers. It also will better coordinate among all of a patient’s doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care, and cover primary care without any co-payments. And it will bring relief to small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees.
- Increasing the value of tax credits to lower premiums and extend coverage to more working middle class Americans. The Biden Plan will eliminate the 400% income cap on tax credit eligibility and lower the limit on the cost of coverage from 9.86% of income to 8.5%. This means that no family buying insurance on the individual marketplace, regardless of income, will have to spend more than 8.5% of their income on health insurance.
- Expanding coverage to low-income Americans. Governors and state legislatures in 14 states including Florida, have refused to take up the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility, denying access to Medicaid for an estimated 4.9 million adults and approximately 800,000 Floridians.
PROVIDE THE PEACE OF MIND OF AFFORDABLE, QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND A LESS COMPLEX HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Even for people with health insurance, Biden will make health care more affordable and less complex.
- All Americans will have a new, more affordable option.
- Middle class families will get a premium tax credit to help them pay for coverage.
- Premium tax credits will be calculated to help more families afford better coverage with lower deductibles.
- Stop “surprise billing” from out-of-network providers at in-network hospitals.
- Tackle market concentration across a few corporations across our health care system, which reduces competition and drives up prices.
- Lower costs and improve health outcomes by partnering with the health care workforce.
STAND UP TO ABUSE OF POWER BY PRESCRIPTION DRUG CORPORATIONS
Biden will put a stop to runaway drug prices and the profiteering of the drug industry by:
- Repealing the outrageous exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices.
- Limiting launch prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers.
- Limiting price increases for all brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation.
- Allowing consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries.
- Terminating pharmaceutical corporations’ tax break for advertisement spending.
- Improving the supply of quality generics.
HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT FOR ALL, NOT A PRIVILEGE FOR JUST A FEW
Joe Biden believes that every American – regardless of gender, race, income, sexual orientation, or zip code – should have access to affordable and quality health care. As president, Biden will improve access to health care and the health of all by:
- Expanding access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion.
- Reverse the Trump Administration and states’ all-out assault on women’s right to choose.
- Restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
- Rescind the Mexico City Policy (also referred to as the global gag rule) that President Trump reinstated and expanded.
- Reducing our unacceptably high maternal mortality rate, which especially impacts people of color. Defending health care protections for all, regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- Doubling America’s investment in community health centers.
- Achieving mental health parity and expanding access to mental health care.
Do you want to learn more? Read Joe’s complete vision for health care here.Image Credits: Image obtained from joebiden.com