The Biden plan would offer more affordable coverage to all American citizens and legal residents. It does not help cover the undocumented — – 60% of California’s remaining uninsured.
It would do the following:
· In the 17 non-expansion states, low-income individuals (4.9 million Americans) would be offered and enrolled in the “public option” – Medicare with no copays for preventive care. There would be no premiums as in the 34 Medicaid expansion states.
· Those purchasing coverage through the Exchange would have their premium assistance linked to the 2nd lowest cost gold plan (an 80/20 plan) as opposed to the second lowest cost silver plan (a 70/30 plan) – providing much more affordable premiums and much better access to care.
· No individual paying through the Exchanges would pay more than 8.5% of income. This helps many middle class middle aged individuals and families with incomes above 400% of FPL (the upper limit for Obamacare premium assistance).
· Individuals purchasing through the Exchange would be offered the “public option” (Medicare with no copays for primary care).
· Individuals with employment-based coverage could choose to use their employer/employee contributions to select the public option.
In addition, it would tackle health costs as follows:
· End "surprise” medical bills
· Use antitrust to tackle concentrations of health industry market power increasing prices of medical care
· Negotiate prescription drug prices for Medicare
· Allow importation of prescription drugs from other countries with lower prices
· Limit drug price increases
· Eliminate tax deductibility for pharmaceutical advertising
· Improve the availability of lower cost generics
Comments: this is a well thought out plan building on the framework of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). It would be paid for by rolling back the Trump tax rate cuts for the very wealthy and taxing the capital gains of the very wealthy as ordinary income. Some in the medical industry will oppose offering the “public option”, and the prescription drug industry will oppose the restraints on their price increases.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin