National Public Radio
As of Jan. 20, 2021 — Inauguration Day — the federal government is about to get much more involved in health care and the COVID-19 pandemic response. Exactly how much more involved, now that Joe Biden is president-elect, depends on whether Republicans keep control of the Senate. And that likely won’t be determined until early January, when Georgia’s two Senate run-off races are held.
Trump’s nearly four years as president have been marked by a scaled-back federal investment and involvement in health care in a range of ways — giving states more authority to run their own health insurance markets, for example, and leaving them to come up with their own strategies for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and more.
Biden’s pledge during the campaign was to reverse that trend. He wants to double-down and invest in the changes the Affordable Care Act made to the country’s health care system, he says. He wants to pour trillions into a unified coronavirus strategy. And he wants to work with Congress to create a Medicare-like public insurance plan that anyone can buy into — what he’s called the “public option.”
Here’s a guide to his policy platforms and promises related to health care. Again, how much he’s able to deliver on will in some cases depend on what happens in the Senate.