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Biden ran on a health insurance public option, but it's not sure if it will be included in his recovery plan

Biden ran on a health insurance public option

April 5, 2021: -While President Joe Biden tries to steer his mammoth new infrastructure plan through Congress, his administration plans the coming phase of its economic recovery efforts. As the White House prepares to reveal, the second proposal focused on education, paid leave, and health care. It has given few examples about if it will include a core Biden campaign plank: a public insurance option.

The president ran on expanding healthcare coverage by allowing Americans to opt into a Medicare-like plan. Although the White House has said it will address health care in the new proposal to be revealed later this month, it has not yet included a public option.

“Health care will be a part of that, with a focus on trying to lower costs for most Americans, prescription drugs, and to expand affordable health care,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain told Politico on Thursday.

Democrats started Biden’s term with three chances to make use of budget reconciliation.

 This process enables bills to pass with a simple majority in the Senate, which means Democrats will approve legislation with no GOP votes in the evenly split chamber.

Democrats would have to get all of the people on board with a health plan. It could prove problematic in a party where preferred models range from a modified version of Obamacare to a complete single-payer system that covers every American.

Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., have urged Biden to put their healthcare expansion plan in the future reconciliation bill. They believe their legislation reflects the president’s goal he outlined on the campaign trail.

It would set up a Medicare public option for individuals and small businesses by 2025 nationwide. The bill would also put in place cost-cutting measures, like permitting the government to negotiate drug prices and expanding subsidies and tax credits for purchasing coverage.

It is unclear if Biden will include a public option in the reconciliation bill or how he would otherwise cut costs and expand coverage. He faces political pressure to take action on health care in his first term, as voters in 2020 ranked the issue among the most important to them.

To address the loss of coverage, the Biden administration opened a particular Affordable Care Act enrollment period. As part of the Covid relief package, Congress also made millions of more people eligible for premium subsidies to buy plans.

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