Biden plans to repeal the law that prohibits the U.S. government from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, allowing drug prices to come down. He also wants to start an independent review board that would assess the prices of certain specialized biotech drugs and recommend fair prices.
Another top point of Biden’s plan is to peg drug prices to inflation. Justin Beck, CEO of Contakt World, a healthcare technology company, says, “Economically, the Biden Plan will make Medicare more sustainable so that its annual cost increases more closely mirror inflation, whereas the current trajectory has costs rising as an overwhelming percentage of GDP in the United States.”
Biden would also allow Americans to purchase drugs from foreign countries at a cheaper price. In addition, he wants to make generic drugs more widely available.
“We have let the rest of the world leapfrog ahead of us when it comes to making sure that we get both effectiveness and value for our money in [healthcare],” Beck said. “It’s past time that America steps into the 21st century on this.”
Here is a summary of Joe Biden’s plans for Medicare.
Biden’s Plans for Medicare: A Summary
Joe Biden plans on tackling the following Medicare and health issues:
- Build onto and strengthening the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
- Introduce a Medicare-like public option where anyone can buy into Medicare
- Increase funding to states for Medicaid expansion
- Expand Medicare — allow Americans ages 60 to 64 to buy into Medicare
- Enhance Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing
- Increase Social Security benefits for lower-income Americans
- Increase annual Social Security benefit payments for seniors age 78 to 82
- Increase the amount widows and widowers receive from Social Security by 20 percent
- Lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, cap drug price increase rates, and allow Americans to purchase cheaper medications from other countries
- Provide a $5,000 tax credit to caregivers who take care of spouses or parents; invest $775 billion in child and elder care
- Revise tax incentives for retirement plans, and increase tax benefits for lower-income Americans
All of these are proposals, and their going into effect would depend on being voted through by Congress.