While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought healthcare and its costs to the forefront of people’s minds throughout America, the presidential election solidified its place as a critical issue. As the country watches progress on coronavirus vaccines and counts the days to President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, an inevitable question comes to mind: how will the Biden-Harris administration impact the costs of healthcare?
With activists like Laura and John Arnold taking to Washington and elsewhere with calls to decrease prescription drug spending and otherwise revolutionize legislation surrounding the medical industry, it’s no surprise that the subject is a major one as the new presidency approaches. From COVID complications and CBD regulations to mental health care and preventive measures like hearing tests, billionaire John Arnold and his wife, Laura Arnold, utilize philanthropy to promote accessible, affordable healthcare, as well as criminal justice reforms and other causes. Their efforts have influenced lawmakers like Nancy Pelosi to lower prescription drug costs, amidst other impacts.
The Arnolds aren’t the only ones aiming to shake up the hold pharmaceutical companies have had on US politics, though. The Biden-Harris healthcare plan promotes a similar goal: “that every American has a right to the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have access to affordable, quality health care.” Perhaps the most prominent point the incoming Biden administration has pressed is a platform of protecting and building upon the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. With an emphasis on providing treatment to Americans despite preexisting physical or mental health conditions, the ACA has increased access to healthcare and decreased the costs associated with it for a decade, despite attacks from both sides of the party line. The incoming president and his administration aim to continue this work by decreasing healthcare costs and demystifying the intricacies of the country’s healthcare system.
The Biden-Harris Healthcare Plan
Undoubtedly influenced by the efforts of activists like John and Laura Arnold, one of the Biden administration’s top priorities is minimizing prescription drug costs. Guided by the president-elect’s years of experience in legislative efforts, the incoming administration has proposed measures such as implementing an inflation cap, minimizing drug companies’ ability to create monopolies, and allowing for citizens of the United States to import medications from other countries, assuming they’ve been deemed to be safe by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Much of the Biden healthcare plan aims to meet Democrats’ expectations, but it isn’t without connections to Republican lawmakers’ efforts. As opposed to alternatives promoted by early candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the Biden-Harris plan increases the federal deficit by considerably less while minimizing disruption for those with existing insurance coverage, a pain point for many when it comes to a “Medicare for All” proposition. This middle ground should allow lawmakers from both major parties to compromise on these all-important rulings, taking steps toward a more united federal government.
Another key point of President-Elect Biden’s healthcare plan is the aim to decrease the minimum enrollment age for Medicare and improve access to healthcare for those in rural America. Mental health funding, in particular, is expected to come to the forefront, with the administration aiming to increase federal funding of mental health resources and better enforce federal parity laws. With these changes in play, Americans will be better able to find local psychologists who can treat them or find that their search for “therapists near me” provides viable options for whatever their budget or condition.
In such proximity to the coronavirus pandemic, further efforts are to be expected. As they take on their new roles, the Biden team is expected to tackle COVID-19, with experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci leading the way for disease control, vaccine distribution, and other steps to bring the U.S. out of the “new normal” and into a brighter, healthier future. For example, experts have called for increases in hospital bed capacities, with limitations being highlighted over the past year.
Overall, the Biden-Harris healthcare plan aims to decrease medication and treatment costs for the American people and improve access to healthcare across the country. This may increase spending on a federal level but will undoubtedly be worth it, bringing better health to millions, whether they live with hearing loss, nausea, schizophrenia, or another condition entirely.
Until Inauguration Day
Of course, the incoming administration isn’t here just yet, and once Joe Biden and Kamala Harris enter the Oval Office, changes to healthcare policies won’t be immediate. Meanwhile, Americans can take the first steps to affordable, accessible healthcare. A hearing health clinic, for example, can provide pediatric and adult hearing tests, screenings, and treatments for conditions like hearing loss and tinnitus. Whatever your budget, these clinics can help to help citizens access hearing aids, medication, and other critical health tools to gain a better hearing and decrease the impact their symptoms have on their lives.
Beyond clinics specializing in hearing and other healthcare areas, Americans can turn to other tools to access medicine and other treatments. If existing coverage doesn’t cover a psychologist, for example, you might find that the effects of smoking a CBD cigarette can help combat symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions—and CBD smokers will find that they don’t face the struggles associated with nicotine products, with greater relaxing and calming qualities. Natural tinctures and other alternative treatments can help you take the first steps towards better health until a formal treatment plan becomes more accessible and affordable.
In recent years, and amidst the coronavirus pandemic, in particular, the costs and complications of the American healthcare system have been brought to the forefront of many citizens’ thoughts. From lowering costs of prescription medications to improving access to healthcare for millions of Americans, the Biden-Harris administration’s plans for healthcare can take their cue from activists and philanthropists like John and Laura Arnold as an effective way to revolutionize the US medical system. With access to hearing aids and treatment plans, affordable clinics, and a better quality of life overall, people across the United States may be better able to afford the healthcare and medication they need.