What Healthcare and Pandemic Response Will Look Like Under Biden

When President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office, all eyes will be on how he handles the monumental task of navigating a country through, what is hopefully, the final stretch of a pandemic.

As we collectively inch closer to January and the start of the Biden administration in Washington, America is still deeply entrenched in the hardship of the coronavirus. Managing the pandemic and the aspect of vaccine distribution will likely be one of, if not, the biggest test of Biden’s leadership, and it’s happening right out of the gate.

However, a pandemic response is just one aspect of Biden’s larger plans for healthcare as a whole — a sector that has been tested repeatedly this year. The pandemic has not only pushed healthcare workers and medical researchers to the edge, but it’s also exposed some major systemic issues within our current healthcare model, namely around access, affordability and equity. Stephen Henderson and a longtime health care policy reporter look at how Joe Biden plans to approach healthcare come January. 

Listen: How healthcare and the federal response to COVID could change under Biden


Amy Goldstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who is currently covering health care policy for the Washington Post. Goldstein is one of the reporters at the Post who worked on the latest installment of the Biden Agenda, which is the Post’s ongoing series that looks at Biden’s policies and plans for the next four years.

In looking at the crisis at hand, Biden and his team created a 13-member coronavirus advisory board within the first two days of him winning the election. On Biden’s refusal to embrace Medicare for All, Goldstein explains, “Joe Biden has said… what we really want to do is use the Affordable Care Act to expand coverage.”

When aiming to overcome disparate health outcomes for communities of color, gaining trust through the creation of more equitable systems of care will be crucial to Biden’s success and popularity over the next four years. “I think the incoming president would say he’s all about inclusivity, but the question is about how to achieve that,” says Goldstein. 

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