Up to 97% of health insurance coverage"... 'Biden Care', the progressive successor of 'Obama Care'

4 min read

The goal of health insurance reform pursued by US President Joe Biden is 'progressive succession of Obama care'. He was the vice president during the Barack Obama administration in 2010, when the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Insurance Act' (ACA) was enacted, the basis for reform, and his position that the legislation was a historical event is still there.

Former President Donald Trump attempted to neutralize Obamacare. When the repeal through Congress was frustrated, an executive order in 2017 stopped subsidies to low-income families, and the compulsory subscription clause was deleted the following year. In June of last year, it filed an unconstitutional suit with the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to abolish the Gearco policy.

The results of the hard work were clear. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of uninsured people has decreased by more than 40% from 47.2 million (2010) to 27.3 million (2016) after the introduction of Obamacare, which started to increase again under the Trump administration. Breaking this trend is the current challenge for the Biden administration. However, just recovering the 2016 subscription rate (91.4%) is not enough. President Biden is about to raise it to 97%.



Of course, there is a simpler way. The government will adopt a single insurance system that manages health insurance for all citizens. Currently, the United States is the only country among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries that does not have a national health insurance system. The alternative to Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who were contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, was to expand public insurance entirely.

President Biden's solution is largely compromised. He has no intention of giving up on the effectiveness of American liberalism, which has traditionally been a private sector. However, his aspiration is to strengthen the public health insurance system to reduce medical expenses that make it difficult for Americans to live.

Changes in the number of non-US health insurance subscribers. Graphic = Correspondent Kim Dae-hoon

A representative concept that differentiates 'Biden Care' from Obama Care is 'Public Option' (a public insurance option). The plan is to provide additional government insurance products in addition to the health insurance products provided by private insurers. The provision was included in the draft at the time of the 2009 ACA legislation, but was omitted from the final legislative process.

The threshold for public insurance is also expected to be lowered. First of all, it is highly likely that the age of enrollment for 'Medicare', which is aimed at seniors 65 and older, will be adjusted to 60. In addition, dental, vision, and hearing treatments that are not covered now are expected to be covered by public insurance. Additional federal funds will be provided for 'Medicaid' for the underprivileged, such as the low-income class and the disabled. It plans to expand the program to 14 states in the South and Midwest that have not been covered by Medicaid so far. Illegal immigrants are also eligible for benefits.

Biden's first health insurance reform measures with this content will be released on the 28th (local time). The daily Washington Post said, "We will reopen the ACA insurance market as soon as possible for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic." Dan Mendelson, founder of consulting firm Every Health, said, "President Biden's initial measures to expand insurance are consistent with the previous position that the United States does not need to switch to a single insurer system."

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