Most people are familiar with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, which was passed into law in 2010. It made health insurance, and as a result, healthcare, more accessible to the average US citizen. But President Joe Biden has a healthcare-centered plan of his own.
The ACA is the foundation for understanding Biden’s healthcare plan, but there are quite a few changes in store you may not be aware of. Read on to learn more about the Biden healthcare plan and what it could mean for you.
Overview Of Biden’s Healthcare Plan
Thanks to the groundwork laid by the ACA, enrollment in affordable health coverage is at an all-time high. Yet, despite the raised figures, the reality is that many people are feeling the crunch of inflation. And with the cost of living steadily rising, keeping up with health insurance costs can be a challenge.
President Joe Biden’s health care plan aims to improve this with a few goals. Firstly, it will improve the existing ACA and also make it easier for people to obtain Medicare. Other aims are to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and eliminate nasty surprises on medical bills.
But perhaps the most talked about change is the creation of a public health insurance option. One that is truly competitive in that it will not only be more affordable than private health insurance but will be just as effective.
Cost And Benefits Of Biden’s Healthcare Plan
Biden’s healthcare plan is not new. It has been in the making since 2020 in the lead-up to Joe Biden’s presidency. But a cursory look at the proposed changes that the Biden administration is implementing, and even those that it hopes to implement, paint a very clear picture and there are many benefits associated with this plan.
- A viable public health insurance option that is as effective but more affordable than private offerings.
- Improved ACA health insurance exchanges that are more accessible and user-friendly.
- The legislation allows Medicare to negotiate for lower costs of prescription medications. There are hopes that, ultimately, all people will enjoy lower costs of prescription medications.
- Increased ACA subsidies to reduce the cost of health insurance.
- A possible end to surprise billing, where out-of-network healthcare providers include costs that people aren’t aware of until the bill arrives.
- A possible lowering of the age for eligibility for Medicare to 60 years
These are some fantastic potential benefits, and if even half of these goals are realized, they will make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans. However, any plan this enthusiastic will have some major costs.
- These affordable healthcare initiatives are funded by taxpayers. More people on Medicare (thanks to a lowered eligibility age) would mean many millions more Americans would qualify for Medicare and taxpayers are ultimately footing the bill.
Medicare is funded by a combination of taxes deposited into trust funds, beneficiaries’ monthly premiums, and other funds approved through Congress.
- Pharmaceutical companies and private health insurance companies also stand to make a loss if some of these proposed changes are put into effect. That may not sound so bad, except that they will inevitably have to address these losses by pushing up prices where they can.
How Biden’s Healthcare Plan Compares To Other Health Care Plans
Every president has had something to say on healthcare and this is likely a trend that will continue. Under President Obama, the Affordable Care Act came into being. Obamacare, as it soon became known, introduced more accessible health insurance platforms like the Federal Health Insurance Exchange.
This plan took some time to gain full momentum but ultimately increased the number of insured people by leaps and bounds.
Under President Trump, other plans were proposed, such as the expansion of association health plans for small businesses and self-employed people.
The Biden healthcare plan is part of a much broader plan, the Inflation Reduction Act and the Build Back Better agenda. Under the Biden plan, the focus is once again on the ACA and many more lower-income households could benefit from reduced medication costs and easier access to Medicare.
The Pros And Cons Of Biden’s Healthcare Plan
This healthcare plan designed by the Biden Administration sounds great, but like anything, it has its pros and cons.
The pros are obvious. It will be easier to access health insurance, and more affordable public options are a large part of that. Prescription drugs will be cheaper. And, if the Medicare age is lowered, more lower-income people of senior age will enjoy healthcare access than ever before.
Unfortunately, there are also some cons. The costs are going to be felt by the middle-to-upper income brackets. Any government-funded plan relies on the redistribution of, and often increase of, taxes.
Also, there is much concern about the financial difficulties being experienced by the Social Security program, which plays a major role in the administration of certain aspects of Medicare.
The Impact Of Biden’s Healthcare Plan
Of course, any plan of this scale will have an impact across the board.
On the Economy
Despite the sigh of relief echoing through millions of lower-income households about cheaper prescription drugs on Medicare, the economy ultimately relies on elements like big pharma and the private insurance sector, and other corporations.
On Healthcare Providers
Healthcare providers, if forced to make their services accessible to public health insurance members at a lower cost, will have to recoup their losses somehow. Or, they may limit their availability on such a reduced-cost network.
On Insurance Companies
Private insurance companies, if up against new public options that are very competitive, may be forced to increase their premiums. That means that many middle-income people who are currently affording their insurance will no longer be able to.
At the end of the day, it is the taxpayers who will bear the brunt of any major changes the Biden Plan proposes. While tax credits are available under the extension of ACA subsidies, these only apply to a certain section of the taxpaying public.
Biden’s Healthcare Plan And The Affordable Care Act
In many ways, President Biden’s healthcare plan is simply the logical conclusion of the work that started with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It does not do away with the ACA. It builds on it and makes it even more accessible.
But while the wide selection of health insurance plans on the ACA marketplace consists of private insurance companies, Biden’s plan proposes additional public options to give people more insurance choices.
Biden’s Health Care Plan And Access To Healthcare Services
Will the everyday American enjoy greater access to healthcare services under the Biden healthcare plan? Yes, because they will have more opportunities to obtain health insurance.
However, whether they receive that care will be largely dependent on who participates in any proposed public health insurance network.
Whether the Biden healthcare plan is a sweeping success or not, only time will tell. But one thing is certain. The American public deserves quality healthcare. And to access it, they need affordable health insurance. That’s where we come in.
At Enhance Health, we’re here to help you get affordable health insurance, regardless of your financial circumstances. It’s something we’ve been doing for a long time, so you can trust our expertise to get you the best plan for your needs. Contact us today for more information.