Biden unveils healthcare plan: 8 key takeaways

Former Vice President Joe Biden on July 15 unveiled a healthcare blueprint for his 2020 presidential run.   

"I believe we have to protect and build on Obamacare," Mr. Biden said in a video announcing his healthcare platform, called the Biden Plan to Protect and Build on the ACA.

Eight things to know about the Biden Plan:

1. The Biden Plan would establish a public option "like Medicare" that will cover primary care without copayments, contraceptive care and abortion.

2. Mr. Biden's platform offers a Medicaid expansion alternative. Adults who live in nonexpansion states but would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid under expansion rules would have access to the public option without premiums.

3. It would expand tax credits for purchasing insurance in the individual market. Mr. Biden would eliminate income requirements for receiving tax credits, which are currently available to American families earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Mr. Biden's plan would also lower the limit families pay for health insurance from 9.86 percent of income to 8.5 percent of income and calculate tax credits based on gold plans instead of silver plans.

4. The platform also includes a surprise-billing provision that would prohibit providers from charging out-of-network rates to patients who are hospitalized at in-network hospitals.

5. Medicare would be allowed to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to help lower drug costs.

6. Drug price increases would be limited to the general inflation rate. The plan also includes a provision that would authorize HHS to appoint a panel to set the prices of new drugs.

7. Mr. Biden would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal Medicaid dollars for abortion. Mr. Biden previously faced criticism for supporting the Hyde Amendment, but reversed his opinion on the rule in June, according to The New York Times.

8. The Biden Plan would also restore the Obama-era status quo in many ways. It includes provisions to restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood, repeal the Mexico City Policy that governs federal funding for global health projects, and end Trump administration tax cuts on people who earn more than $1 million.

Read more about the plan here


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