The potential impact of Biden’s presidency in the USA on the healthcare industry

By Rangaraja Konar, MBA, Business Analyst, Global Pricing Innovations


Joseph Biden has been elected as the 46th President of the United States of America. He was the vice president of the states during Obama’s administration.

The healthcare sector might be up to face a mixed bag of impacts on Mr. Biden winning the presidential elections. He was in the forefront when Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare became a law in 2010. Being, one of the frontiers in the launch of this plan, the Biden team has proposed to bring in more benefits within ACA.

Their campaign has proposed to bring up Medicare (National Health Insurance Program by US) as equivalent to private players. The motive behind it is to bring those US citizens into the scheme who might feel that they might not afford a healthcare insurance for them and their family.
With the advent of COVID-19, there is an ever-increasing need for a robust healthcare system. Hence, the need for a policy in which the eligibility should be of maximum citizens of the country.

One of the plans in this path is to bring down the age limit for enrolment for an insurance plan. The plan is to extend the limit from 60 years currently to 65 years. This plan would potentially add up more citizens coming under an insurance scheme. The campaign has also assured for an increased income-based tax credits to the premium payers to provide a boost to people getting enrolled in an insurance scheme.

This could be creating both positive and negative impact on the health insurance sector; positive as there’s a plan to rope in more citizens for the health insurance and negative that the government is aiming to get the Medicare plan to cover expenses close to private providers.
On sectors like pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics this would create a positive impact as with more people getting covered under the scheme there would be a subsequent effect on increased access to drugs, devices and diagnosis.
Value based care which was one of the highlights of Obamacare when launched, could come to more light in this governance. There might be newer reward policies for healthcare providers as a token of appreciation for their enhanced quality of service.

Prescription drug reform is another area that this new government is aiming to ponder upon. As, almost 20% of the spending done by the national health insurance policy goes for the expenditure of prescription drug. There are plans to repeal the clause of pharma companies to avoid discussion and negotiation around pricing with Medicare. This may lead to the government intervening and negotiating the prices of the products. There are chances for the government to bring a price cap especially to generics and branded generics with reference to the prices in other high-income countries. There is also a chance for the repeal of tax break to pharma companies in their direct to consumer advertising and promotional activities.

If we witness the aspects around drug pricing coming into enforcement. There could be a negative impact on the pockets of the pharma companies exporting generics and branded generics to the states.

If this proposal manages to see the light of the day, then it would be interesting to see in whose court the ball would be: citizens or corporates?

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Bibliography:


Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Available at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Value-Based-Programs/Value-Based-Programs
[Accessed 08 November 2020]

Rebecca Pifer., 2020. 5 Key Pillars of Biden’s healthcare plan. Healthcaredive. Available at:
https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/5-key-pillars-of-bidens-healthcare-plan/576656/
[Accessed 08 November 2020]

Joe Biden for President: Official Campaign Website. Joe’s Vision. Available at: https://joebiden.com/healthcare/
[Accessed 08 November 2020]