Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his campaign recently laid out how Mr. Biden would respond to COVID-19 as well as other challenges within the healthcare system.
Mr. Biden was vice president during Barack Obama's eight years as president and many of his overarching views of the healthcare system align with the ACA, which was passed in 2010 while President Obama was in office. However, the unique circumstances brought on by the pandemic will require additional immediate response from whoever is elected president in November. Many of these issues are important for ASC administrators and healthcare leaders to consider heading into the fall elections.
1. Request infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, to continue his government service.
2. Ramp up COVID-19 testing efforts, hoping to reach 100 million tests per month.
3. Hold daily pandemic briefings led by scientists and public health experts.
4. Appoint a supply chain commander.
5. Convene an informal COVID-19 "war room" four times per week for briefings about the virus in the U.S. and around the world.
6. Tap new leadership for healthcare agencies, potentially including HHS, CDC and FDA.
7. Protect the Affordable Care Act and build on it with a public health insurance option like Medicare that would negotiate lower prices from healthcare providers.
8. Increase tax credit value to lower premiums and extend coverage to working individuals. The plan would guarantee that individuals would not spend more than 8.5 percent of income on health insurance purchased on the individual marketplace.
9. Give premium-free access to the public option to individuals in 14 states that elected not to expand Medicaid. The Biden campaign estimates that would cover around 4.9 million individuals.
10. Combat surprise billing by barring healthcare providers from charging out-of-network rates when patients don't have control over which providers they see.