Episode 25 // Jan 07, 2021

Podcast — Four Healthcare Priorities of the Biden Administration

With Jon Bigelow – Executive Director of the Coalition for Healthcare Communication

Resources in Today's Episode

Key Takeaways

Lay of the land as a New President Takes Seat

  • Biden faces unusual constraints as he plans to enter office, including walking into multiple crises on day one: The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to get worse over the coming weeks, the U.S. is facing major economic issues, including a cybersecurity hack with details unknown by the government; continued racial injustice and concerns over global climate change.
  • Despite the fact that Biden’s win is objectively decisive when compared to past presidents, one-third of the American population doesn’t believe that he won the 2021 election.
  • Democrats theoretically have control of the Senate at this point.
  • Although it’s in Biden’s best interest to move beyond the final events of Trump’s presidency without getting involved, this may be harder over the next 13 days as he finishes his term, and many discuss invoking the 25th Amendment.

New Key Players Enter Political Arena

  • “Personnel is policy,” and the establishment figures that Biden nominates give insight into what we can expect from future policy

New Expectations for Healthcare Politics

  • Biden will likely make moderate legislative proposals, and the more progressive proposals he makes will be done by executive action
  • Under Trump, the healthcare industry faced issues such as Twitter attacks, inconsistent messages, and poorly designed executive orders; under Biden and his new Senate, appointments will elevate people already respected within the industry, we can expect to see more pressure and constraint on pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, and there will be a tighter focus on following proper procedures and providing consistent leadership

Biden’s Key Priorities

  • Taming the COVID-19 pandemic through public health measures, vaccine distribution, and rebuilding public confidence
  • Economic stimulus and folding other priorities –– infrastructure, climate, taxes –– into those efforts
  • Strengthening the Affordable Care Act and in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision coming in the spring on whether or not it can be deemed unconstitutional based on a specific clause about taxes
  • Restoring strength and security after a cybersecurity hack gives impetus to data privacy legislation
  • Upcoming Healthcare Policy Highlights 
  • Continued debate over the Affordable Care Act, whether it is constitutional, and the impact on our healthcare system if the Supreme Court decision eliminates this insurance option for millions of Americans who are currently seeking care in the pandemic.
  • Pharmaceutical marketing may be more at risk for taxation as the U.S. likely faces a $2 trillion deficit in 2021.
  • Among other priorities, price transparency in hospitals doesn’t appear to be a high priority for Biden’s appointees.

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