Things are heating up within the Democratic party in regards to the way healthcare will sway if Joe Biden wins the presidential election and the Senate shifts. Biden’s plan for a government-run public option for health insurance was seen as the moderate choice, which has many Republicans giving him their vote. But Progressives are not satisfied.
“While some details may need to be worked out next year on the health care push, industry should know change is coming under full Democratic control,” said Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), a member of the “unity task force” brought together to help bridge the ideas of Sanders and Biden.
But what kind of change will be agreed on?
COVID-19 will shape the direction of healthcare
Though there is a split in the Democratic party, one thing does remain a common ground among them. The state of the pandemic will landscape the Senate in the year to come.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that under full Democratic control next year, “our first priority will be what it’s always been, the first priority in America’s households: health care.”
Moderates vs. Progressives
The disagreement on healthcare seems to be simple, though a solution has yet to be found.
Moderates: They are pushing for the party to move towards a more modest healthcare package that focuses on fixing the already set ObamaCare. They do not want a public option.
Note: House Democrats have already passed a similar bill in June that increased financial assistance under the health law and undoing some of President Trump’s actions but without a public option. This means that the measure is already written and ready to go, and it also includes plans to lower drug prices, a top Democratic priority.
Progressives: They are on board for pushing a healthcare plan that goes above and beyond a public option, much along the lines of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All.” They believe that the party needs to be bold with the start of a new presidency, especially given the economic devastation from the coronavirus crisis.
Comments from each side
“It’s definitely too small because it’s not regular time; it’s COVID time,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a top progressive in the House, said when asked about a more modest approach of fixes to ObamaCare
“Senator Manchin (D-Virginia) has long said the Affordable Care Act is in need of repairs. He trusts that Vice President Biden will be willing to work with the entire caucus as he has been throughout his entire career,” said Manchin’s communications director, Sam Runyon.