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Joe Biden's Stance on the Medicare and Healthcare Policies

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Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He resided in Scranton, Pennsylvania for around the first ten years of his life. He and his family then moved to Claymont, Delaware. He was a mediocre student who displayed great leadership skills. He was elected class president his junior and senior year of high school. Biden was always encouraged by his family, parents especially, to bounce back from failures, persevere and stand up for himself. A major obstacle Joe grew up with was a terrible stammer. To fix this, he would recite long passages in front of his mirror until it would go away. His practice really helped which would of course help him in his career consisting of non-stop public speaking.

Moving into his college career, Joe pursued a bachelor’s degree with a double major in history and political science at Delaware University and graduated in 1965. Biden continued to obtain his degree in law at Syracuse University. Along the way while Biden was pursuing his law degree, he grew even more interested in politics. Once he graduated from Syracuse in 1968, he became a lawyer in 1969 and practiced law in Delaware. At first, he practiced as a public defender and then moved on to open his own firm. In 1969, Biden ran as a democrat for the New Castle Council on a liberal platform which included support for public housing in suburban areas. He won with 55 percent of the votes and then served on the council from 1970 to 1972. His political career really took off after serving on the council.

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In 1972 at 29 years old, Joe Biden ran against J. Caleb Boggs to represent Delaware in the United States Senate. His campaign had close to no money for the actual campaigning and many predicted he had close to no chance in winning. Although Biden had little money and needed to push harder to campaign himself, the issues he focused on were on target with what the public was focused on as well. He focused on civil rights, the withdrawal from Vietnam, health care and much more. Since he didn’t have much political experience at this time his age, energy and ability to relate with voters and their feelings were a major strength. On November 7 Biden won the election with 50.5 percent of the votes. Unfortunately, a month later his first wife and daughter were killed in a car accident and his two sons were severely injured. Biden took oath beside his son, Beau’s, hospital bed. Once Biden was officially sworn in, he focused on criminal justice, foreign relations and drug policy. He served on the senate’s Foreign Relations Committee twice as well as on the Judiciary Committee from 1987 to 1995. He also was a member of the International Narcotics Control Caucus. Biden was particularly passionate and vocal on topics including the Kosovo and Iraq conflicts. He wanted the US to take action against the Serbian armies and protect the Kosovos and he wanted a partition plan to be put in place to keep Iraq united and peaceful. Since he had such great opportunities within the senate and had gotten so far in his political career, he decided to run for the democratic presidential nomination in 1988. Quickly enough he withdrew and then tried again in 2008 but withdrew again after placing fifth in the Iowa democratic caucus. Luckily, Biden withdrawing from the presidential campaign opened a new door for his future leading him right where he was aiming to be, the white house.

Although Biden closed the door the presidency his door to vice presidency opened up right after. During the presidential campaign Obama became very intrigued by Biden’s ideas on foreign policy and he also found Biden’s campaigning style to be very appealing to voters. Once Biden dropped out of the race, Obama had been reaching out to Biden privately and conversing with him over the idea of him working in the Obama administration. As cautious he was, Biden declined Obama’s first offer to become his vice president because he was worried about how that might make him look. He did not want him accepting the position of vice president to be represented as a loss in status or a sign on inferiority. Obama and Biden took to secrecy and discussed possible vice presidency relationships moving forward. Finally, on August 22, 2008 Obama announced that Biden would be his running mate in the campaign. This was the beginning of the Obama-Biden duo. Once Biden was back in the spotlight, his campaigning began to gain more media coverage and press attention than before. He tended to focus more on the swing states especially areas within these states that are more economically challenged. There were many ups and downs during the campaign especially with Biden and his outspoken remarks during events, but in the end the duo pulled through and won the 2008 election.

On November 4, 2008 Joe Biden was elected vice president of the United States of America. On January 20, 2009 Biden was sworn into office as the 47th vice president of the United States. In the beginning of the first term Biden took on the role of the behind-the-scenes counselor. Since Biden was a senator for Delaware, he was able to gain senate support for multiple major pieces of legislation. He was also in charge of over-seeing infrastructure spending from the Obama stimulus package. He was constantly campaigning for democrats, especially in the 2010 midterm elections. When re-election time came around, Obama asked Biden to remain his running mate for the 2012 election. On January 20, 2013 Biden was inaugurated to a second term next to Obama. Biden continued to play an active role in the administration and served as an influential advisor to Obama and was constantly behind hm on all initiatives. Once the second term came to an end, so did the reign of Obama-Biden duo. Biden is now in post vice-presidency and on April 25, 2019 he announced he was running for president for the third time. He is currently in the running to be elected as the Democratic candidate who will run against President Trump for the next president of the United States.

Debate Question: How can we bend the cost curve/should we have Medicare for All?

I, Joe Biden, do not think we should have Medicare for all. Since I was vice president from 2009 to 2017, I have seen how healthcare affects the American people. I was able to be a part of making history in health care. I stood next to Barack Obama’s side while he signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Since the ACA has been put into place, nearly 100 million Americans don’t have to worry about being denied health insurance because of their pre-existing conditions. Young adults don’t have to worry about having no health insurance while spending thousands of dollars on college and are guaranteed coverage under their parent’s insurance until the age of 26. 20 million American citizens can live a less stressful life knowing they have health insurance coverage. My Priority is to make sure every single American has access to affordable, quality health insurance in the quickest, most cost-effective way possible. The United States spends about 3.2 trillion dollars on healthcare (Kocher et.al, 2018). Based on what I have seen the ACA do for people in the past almost ten years, I don’t believe we should have Medicare for all. Why have Medicare for all when we have Medicare already and a law like the ACA sitting right in front of us waiting for the next move in healthcare?

Medicare for all just isn’t the answer. I will protect the ACA from the attacks it has constantly endured especially since Donald Trump became president. I would not get rid of the Affordable Care Act but instead I would build on it. Ways that I will do this is by giving Americans more choice, reducing healthcare costs and making our healthcare system less complex to navigate (“Health Care”, n.d.). I believe there should be on top of the existing Medicare and ACA, a public health option. The Affordable Care Act is dear to me and I have seen it do good to the American people, but I will say there is still many areas of improvement within this law. Within the healthcare system and ACA I aim to give every American access to affordable healthcare, provide peace of mind of affordable, quality health care and a less complex health care system, stand up to abuse of power by prescription drug corporations and finally, ensure health care is a right for all and not just a privilege for a few people.

Giving Americans a new choice in health care is a big role to take on, but I believe it is something that could help the American people and ACA tremendously. A public health insurance like Medicare is a much better option than just Medicare for all and calling it a day. It gives yet another option that has the flexibility to work for millions of people. I believe each American citizen should be given the choice to purchase some type of public health insurance like Medicare, but not force individuals who may have a good health insurance plan to drop it. By doing this, the plan still fundamentally preserves the employer-based health insurance system that most working-age Americans rely on for coverage. It builds off the health insurance system created by the Affordable Care Act, with targeted adjustments that appear aimed at fixing some of the law’s shortcomings (“Joe Biden unveils his alternative to ‘Medicare for all’.”, 2019). Expanding coverage to low-income Americans is one of the main goals here. This obstacle can be resolved by offering premium-free access to the public health option of insurance for the people who would be eligible for Medicaid but for their state’s inaction and making sure their public option covers the full scope of Medicaid benefits (“Health Care”, n.d.). Once these individuals have health insurance this will lead them to the peace of mind of having affordable care and a less complex health system.

Being able to provide the peace of mind of having affordable care and a less complex health system to the American people is what the ACA had done in the past to many, so why reverse that with the only option of Medicaid for all when we’re already half-way there? Having a public option like Medicare will negotiate prices with providers which will lead to a more affordable option to individuals who may find their insurance too expensive (“Health Care”, n.d.). This again, helps the people who want an alternative plan while leaving others who are happy with their plan. Along with piece of mind, this will also be a way to stand up to abuse of power by prescription drug companies. I believe if we get a public health insurance incorporated into the ACA then this will completely void the exception allowing big prescription drug companies to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug pricing. Based on this outcome I believe we then can find a way to choose our own pricing for these drugs. I know many if not all upcoming drugs are not going to be these traditional chemical drugs, but instead more along the premise of biotech drugs which will lead little to no competition in prices. With these movements being put in place by the prescription companies, a great opportunity because of adding on a public health insurance will be to set a condition of participation in the Medicare program and public option so all biotech and overly priced generic drugs brands will be prohibited from increasing their prices. Just from adding another option for healthcare will help make these ideas come to life and give us the care, funding, prices and quality we as the American people deserve in healthcare.

Implementing another option for healthcare coverage ensures that health care is a right for all and not a privilege for just a few people, usually the wealthy. With a public health option not only will the individuals who have always had healthcare will continue to have it (and pay less) but individuals below the federal poverty line who may have never dreamed of having health insurance will. This option being included in the ACA will help continue to expand access to contraception and protect to constitutional right to an abortion for ALL women.

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