Why Biden's public option faces hurdles


President-elect Joe Biden may have trouble implementing a key part of his healthcare plan: a public option.

Under Mr. Biden's proposal, a public option health plan would be premium-free for Americans who would be eligible for Medicaid if their state had expanded the program under the ACA. It would also allow states that have already expanded Medicaid under the ACA to move newly eligible enrollees onto the public option. Additionally, President-elect Biden's plan would automatically enroll people making below 138 percent of the federal poverty level into the public option.

If Democrats do not gain control of the Senate, a Biden administration would have several hurdles in its implementation of a public option, according to Politico. It appears Democrats will retain control of the House of Representatives, but both parties had tied for 48 seats in the Senate as of Nov. 9. Four races still hadn't been called, though Republican candidates currently lead in Alaska and North Carolina's Senate races, according to the APM Research Lab.

While the public option itself has support among Democrats and the American public, disagreements are likely to arise around how a public option would be structured. Additionally, his plan could face opposition from Republicans and healthcare lobbyists, many of which are opposed to further expanding government healthcare coverage, according to Politico

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