‘If You Like Your Plan … You Can Keep It’: Biden’s Blast-From-The-Past Promise Highlights Pros, Pitfalls Of His Health Strategy
Former Vice President Joe Biden made a similar vow to voters at an AARP/Des Moines Register forum that then-President Barack Obama made as he was touting the health law. The echo from years past highlights Biden's strategy of building upon the system already in place that has only grown in popularity in recent years. But it could put him out of step with the mood of the party. “Politically, Biden is trapped by his old job,” said Scott Jennings, an appointee in former President George W. Bush’s administration.
Biden Healthcare Plan Draws Contrast With White House Rivals
Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden unveiled a $750 billion healthcare plan on Monday that he said would strengthen the Affordable Care Act, drawing a contrast with rivals who back a more sweeping "Medicare for All" government-run system. Biden portrayed White House rivals led by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who back a single-payer plan that eliminates private insurance, as a threat to former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. (Whitesides and Stone, 7/15)
The New York Times:
Joe Biden, Echoing Obama, Pledges To Shore Up The Affordable Care Act
It was the singular promise that doomed the public perception of President Barack Obama’s health care law — and now former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is using it on the campaign trail. “If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it,” Mr. Biden told an AARP forum on Monday. “If you like your private insurance, you can keep it.” Mr. Biden restated nearly verbatim Mr. Obama’s Affordable Care Act promise — which was named Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 and has been ridiculed by Republicans for years — as he detailed for the first time how he would tackle health care as president. (Epstein and Goodnough, 7/15)
Biden: If You Like Your Private Health Insurance, 'You Can Keep It'
But the law has provided 20 million people with health insurance, and it’s now more popular than ever. Biden is running on protecting ObamaCare. He is banking the law’s popularity will convince voters that his plan of shoring up the law with more subsidies and a public option is a better approach than Medicare for All. “You get your choice, you get full coverage … I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage,” he said. (Weixel, 7/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
Biden’s New Plan For Health Care Is A Nod To The Past
His approach reflects a schism among Democrats that will define the party—and possibly health care—for years to come. Moderates such as Mr. Biden favor incremental policy advances like the plan laid out Monday. The more progressive wing wants to remake the system into something new. Mr. Biden risks appearing out of step. “You have Biden who is defending Obamacare, and everyone else has moved on,” said Scott Jennings, an appointee in former President George W. Bush’s administration. “Politically, Biden is trapped by his old job,” because he can’t abandon Obamacare after supporting it as vice president, Mr. Jennings said. (Armour, 7/15)
As Opponents Tout Medicare For All, Biden Leans Into Obamacare
Under Biden’s plan, an estimated 4.9 million low-income Americans living in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid would have access to a no-premium public option. States that have expanded Medicaid -- typically, those governed by Republicans -- would also have the option of moving to the new public option if they continue paying their current share of the cost of covering those benefiting from the expansion. The plan also includes a string of proposals that Democrats generally support, including repealing the law that bars Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices, allowing consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries, and eliminating “surprise billing” when a patient doesn’t have control over which provider he or she sees. Biden would also favor doubling federal funding for community health centers. (Epstein, 7/15)
Biden Puts Forth An Elaborate — And Aggressive — Plan To Lower Drug Prices
Biden’s language regarding Medicare prices was also aggressive. He called the existing ban on the federal government negotiating with manufacturers an “outrageous exception.” Democrats have almost universally called for allowing Medicare to negotiate for drug prices directly, and almost succeeded in including such a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which Biden helped push through Congress as vice president. (Facher, 7/15)