A Joe Biden presidency will include an expansionary healthcare agenda with implications for the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance coverage and transactions, according to a report from PwC’s Health Research Institute.
The report — released Nov. 7 after media outlets projected Mr. Biden as the next president of the U.S. — examines how a Biden administration will affect healthcare, what healthcare executives can expect from President-elect Biden’s healthcare proposals, and his plan to address the pandemic, among other topics.
Overall, the report indicates healthcare executives can expect an expansionary agenda that looks to fill gaps in insurance coverage, more aggressively scrutinize healthcare mergers and acquisitions and use more federal government power to address COVID-19. A few highlights:
COVID-19: The report projects Mr. Biden will use his experience relating to the H1N1 and the Ebola outbreaks to address the pandemic, with the federal government taking a more active role. “These actions could shore up the nation’s response in which the federal government largely served in a support role to local, state and private efforts,” said PwC. The report also projects President-elect Biden will likely enlist the Defense Production Act to increase the production of tests and personal protective equipment, as well as support ongoing deregulation around telehealth and return to global partnerships and groups such as the World Health Organization, particularly around vaccines.
ACA and health insurance: Healthcare executives can expect a Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers to develop a replacement for the ACA if the health law is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the report. PwC’s Health Research Institute also said healthcare organizations should prepare for potentially millions more Americans gaining insurance coverage under Mr. Biden’s healthcare proposals that include increasing tax subsidies for health plans purchased on the ACA exchanges and providing a public insurance option.
Mergers and acquisitions: In July, a task force created by Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., and President-elect Biden indicated more pressure could be put on hospitals and pharmaceutical companies looking to merge under a Biden presidency. President-elect Biden has said his administration would take a closer look at mergers’ effects on labor markets, low-income and racially marginalized communities and racial equity.
Access the full report here.
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