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Nov
5

Enough obsessing…here’s what the election means for healthcare.

Like many, I’ve been spending far too much time obsessing over election results.

It’s a waste of time and energy…and completely useless; rather than dive into Maricopa County absentee ballot trends, time is far better spent figuring out the election’s implications.

I’ll stipulate that come January there will be a Democrat in the White House, a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, and probably a very narrow Republican majority in the Senate (although that depends on Georgia’s Ossoff – Purdue results and the Warnock – Loeffler runoff).

Here’s what this means for healthcare.

The ACA is here to stay – whether it gets fixed is up to the Senate.

The Affordable Care Act needs work, but gridlock may keep it stumbling along.

Biden’s wish list includes:

  • lowering the eligibility age for Medicare to 60,
  • allowing the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over prescription drug prices,
  • spending $775 billion on caregiving to address the need for home health,
  • expanding financial assistance for health insurance,
  • creating a “public option” government health plan, and
  • changing the individual mandate to ensure folks are incentivized to get health insurance.

Without a Democratic Senate, much of the list (lowering Medicare age, public option, $ for caregiving) is unlikely to happen...but Biden can use Executive Orders to address some key problems.

Expect a slew of Orders on issues including:

  • expanding family planning services;
  • expanding value-based care to – perhaps – include pharma (a backdoor way to partially address drug costs);
  • free and expanded testing for COVID,
  • transparency on medical billing, and
  • a mechanism to address surprise bills.

A Biden Administration will double down on the opioid crisis, taking much more aggressive action to make profiteers such as Purdue pay huge penalties. Criminal charges may well be levied against those profiteers along with efforts to reclaim dollars parked overseas by the Sackler family (owners of Purdue).

Of course, this depends on the Georgia runoff, scheduled for January 5 with early voting starting December 20.

What does this mean for you?

Its a lot more productive to focus on the implications and how they may affect you, your family, your community and your business than to worry about stuff we can’t control.


4 thoughts on “Enough obsessing…here’s what the election means for healthcare.”

  1. It’s your blog posts, so freedom to you in making them so political. Having been a reader for some time, it’s been such a gag reading such a heavy dose of your pollical opinion throughout your posts. Started early in my career with your posts, and let me tell ya, I cannot wait for this election to be over because your are insufferable and as biased as they come. I’m not a Trump voter myself, but you strongly give me the sense that you’re a “every Trump voter is a racist” guy. It’s sickening and trust me, look at the election results, 50% of your readers despise it. Including me who, again, didn’t vote for the guy, but am also not that political. Just save it and stick to the facts.

    1. Hello Trey – thanks for the comment and observations.

      Two points.

      First- if you could point out precisely where this post is politically biased, I’d appreciate it. I went back and re-read the post, and found it to be pretty objective and fact-based, with sources cited (as always). Is ACA here to stay? yes. Does it indeed look like Biden will win? yes. Does it look like the GOP will retain the Senate? yes. have the Dems retained the House? yes. Will there be a runoff in GA? yes. Is the ACA stumbling along? yes. Will the Republican controlled Senate block the changes Biden wants to make? yes.

      Those are facts – the facts you want me to stick to. I’d also note that my views are backed with cites so readers can dig deeper if they so wish.

      Trey, we need to engage and seek to understand, not level accusations at each other. If we are ever to heal this country, it will come from that. I’m not sure why my political opinions are so insufferable or gag-inducing; it’s concerning that you are so offended by what you perceive as my political bias as it indicates you don’t want to hear other viewpoints.

      Lastly, if half of my readers despise it, so be it. In the end, science, facts, and reality wins. That’s what I’m “biased” towards.

      be well – Joe

  2. It certainly looks like Biden, the Democrats and the ACA will prevail. Besides providing the necessary subsidies that furnish coverage for 25 million Americans, the ACA is the major policy vehicle that promotes health prevention in our society. This component needs to be enhanced, since it is forecast that 80% of our population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Obesity is associated is associated with the ten leading modifiable risk factors.

    1. Hello Frank – thanks for the comment. Clearly one of our biggest problems is in the modifiable risk factor area, and completely agree obesity is a major driver.

      be well Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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