If you feel like 2020 has been a whirlwind of ups and downs, you’re not alone. With so much uncertainty about the state of the world and how and when things might get better, it’s hard to stay positive sometimes. That being said, with President-elect Joe Biden set to replace Donald Trump on January 20, 2021, many believe that things will start to change for the better with this shift in power.
Even with a Democratic majority in the house of representatives and senate, however, Biden’s work will be cut out for him. Millions of Americans remain unemployed, the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage at record highs across the country, and recent acts of radical insurrection have shaken many Americans to the core. Most directly, many people in the United States are concerned about their healthcare coverage, because of some of Biden’s campaign promises as well as the ongoing pandemic. While it’s unclear exactly how the new administration will impact the healthcare sector, there are some hints about policies Biden’s considering. Read on to learn more about what you might expect from Biden’s first one hundred days in office.
Biden has said that COVID-19 remains a high priority.
One of the biggest aspects of healthcare Biden will focus on during his first few months in office will be the rollout of coronavirus vaccines. As recently as last week, Biden said that he is considering releasing all vaccine supplies available to states at once as a way to play catch up. With only a small fraction of the population currently vaccinated, the vaccination efforts to date have been less efficient and slower than originally anticipated. Focusing on getting the vaccine into the hands of more medical facilities is crucial in order to start building up Americans’ immunity to the deadly virus.
Biden could push for more coverage.
The Affordable Care Act is another major focus of Biden’s. Pioneered while he was vice president by President Barrack Obama, the ACA, also known as Obamacare, has helped millions get health insurance coverage. That being said, Biden knows that the program is not without its flaws. As a result, one of the things he’s looking to do while in the Oval Office is to expand the coverage and policies offered by the Affordable Care Act, including finding ways to get more people to qualify for income-based tax credits as part of the program.
Telemedicine is one area that could also be impacted by these changes. Many people have found telemedicine to be incredibly important during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they’re attending cancer care telemedicine or seeing a therapist online. Telehealth has been accelerated into the future thanks to COVID-19, so don’t be surprised to see more provisions regarding telemedicine in the forthcoming legislature from Biden about healthcare.
Biden could lower Medicare eligibility.
Another healthcare goal of Joe Biden’s has to do with Americans’ eligibility for Medicare coverage. Currently, seniors become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65; however, under Biden’s proposal, the age limit would lower to just 60. This would allow a broader swath of seniors in the United States to tap into Medicare benefits earlier, offering them much-needed healthcare coverage as they begin to get older.
Being able to take advantage of Medicare benefits earlier could be huge for preventive care for seniors, especially in terms of vision care and hearing health. Getting a hearing screening at a clinic like Sound Relief earlier than when they turn 65 could help address hearing problems sooner and prevent more serious hearing loss later in life. Even if seniors are just struggling with tinnitus, they can get the hearing care they need sooner under Biden’s proposal, which is a win-win for seniors and healthcare providers.