Biden on Healthcare: Who’s Got the Right Idea on U.S. Healthcare Delivery?

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Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is promoting a healthcare outline that is similar to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but attempts to improve upon several of its aspects (Laszewski, 2019). Although the ACA created some improvements in healthcare delivery, such as the expansion of care (more people received access to healthcare) and promotion of public health (global health issues), there were unsuccessful components represented by the skyrocketing premiums and deductibles. Biden outlines expanding Medicaid coverage further by making Medicaid available to all low-income consumers in every state (Laszewski, 2019). A substantial part of the expansion is the plan to remove the cap on individuals and families receiving federal subsidies, so no one pays more than 8.5% of their income on premiums. More people could actually afford their healthcare. Consistent with the ACA, Biden wants to increase budgeting for community health center development, improving upon public health initiatives.

In contrast to the ACA, Biden plans to improve upon the individual health insurance market. According to Laszewski (2019), Biden proposes the development of a public option to be marketed alongside private insurance options, giving Americans three options: Medicaid, private insurance, and public health insurance. Biden’s outline partly builds upon the ACA, making healthcare expansion even broader and further reducing the number of uninsured people. Fan, Yan, Coyte, & Yu (2019) found that public health insurance leads to better health outcomes and long life expectancies. A public health insurance option may level the playing field. Private insurance companies will be forced to compete with public prices, reducing the imbalance of coverage and provider options between people with different socioeconomic statuses (Laszewski, 2019).

Another benefit of Biden’s plan, according to Laszewski (2019), is increasing community health budgeting, which is more consistent with a population health model of care delivery rather than a medical model. Population health focuses on preventative concepts such as nutrition and lifestyle. The medical model is the traditional American way which focuses on treating disease in each individual, rather than preventing it.

HOWEVER, with all of this said, I still have a problem with Joe Biden. I will not vote for him as president of the U.S. because of his views on Planned Parenthood. But, does it not make sense that we work together on healthcare, democrats and republicans, and find a middle ground on changing our healthcare delivery system? I do not think that Biden having a bad concept in his outline (funding Planned Parenthood) means that all his ideas are bad. There are some great ideas here! We are at a standstill in our country. Although some concepts, such as abortion laws, are improving, other aspects of healthcare delivery in the U.S. have stalled. Oh, how I wish our appointed officials could sit down and find a way to move forward.

Margie Huff, RN

ARNP/FNP Student at University of Southern Indiana

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