Soter: America Needs Biden-Harris Healthcare Policies

Courtesy+of+Biden+for+President

Adam Schultz

Courtesy of Biden for President

By Theadora Soter, Opinion Writer

 

We’re heading into the 2020 election amid the healthcare crisis that is COVID-19. And with the vice presidential debate rapidly approaching, it’s critical for us to understand our candidates’ healthcare policies. The present administration’s inadequate handling of the pandemic has left hundreds of thousands dead, millions jobless and mourning, and the nation more politically polarized than ever before — once again, the Trump administration has twisted an indisputable scientific reality into a partisan issue. Trump has demonstrated that the leader we choose on November 3 is sure to have a great effect on American lives, especially in terms of how COVID-19 is managed moving forward. There’s no question — the US needs Biden-Harris healthcare policies and coronavirus procedures to be able to flourish again.

As the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence has had a major impact on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic. Last month, Pence’s team and the US Department of Health and Human Services changed the guidelines on the CDC website, inaccurately stating that there is no need to be tested after exposure to the virus. The dangerously incorrect guideline shocked the medical community. Eventually, it was confirmed that the information was put on the website by political officials — not health officials — who completely omitted the CDC’s intense scientific review process.

Pence has also praised Trump’s management of the COVID-19, claiming that Trump took action early and effectively, but journalists have proven time and time again that this is far from the truth. In other words, Pence’s loyalty to the president has reinforced the spread of misinformation about the virus and undermined efforts to control it.

Beyond the pandemic, Pence is known for his ultra-conservative views on reproductive rights. With Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, it is very possible his misogynistic views will be made law and may leave many women without access to basic healthcare like birth control. Pence is also a strong opponent of Obamacare. As Indiana’s governor, he reluctantly complied with the ACA under his conservative stipulations, renaming it Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0. He essentially forced Indiana residents to pay monthly for a portion of their insurance based on their income, which defeated the law’s purpose since many who need the ACA don’t have any income at all.

If Senator Kamala Harris takes Pence’s position in early 2021, the nation’s healthcare system will at least be able to regain some form of stability. Under their plan, COVID-19 testing will be free to everyone. Treatment centers and supplies will be made widely available, and an aggressive economic recovery plan will be put in place. The US will finally have a glimpse of the desperately awaited light at the end of this brutal tunnel.

Essentially, the Democratic nominees would conquer the pandemic through a science-based approach. On the flip side, Trump and Pence have acted out of partisanship, selfishness, and flat-out ignorance over the course of this crisis, putting economic security over Americans’ health and safety.

Furthermore, Harris has fought to protect the Affordable Care Act, which protects those suffering from pre-existing conditions, not just COVID-19, from loss of health insurance. In her primary run, Harris also introduced a Medicare-for-All plan, designed to be fully implemented in 10 years, which would keep a private option but also offer security for those unable to access private insurance. She also has a plan to lower prescription drug costs, which is critical for people who are too sick or injured to work but have no other way to pay for crucial medications.

Even if Trump could somehow erase his racist rhetoric, misogynistic mindset and inability to successfully lead a modern democracy, healthcare alone would be reason enough to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in this election. If you’re still not convinced, you can listen for Pence and Harris’s healthcare plans when they go toe to toe in the debate on October 7 — but I know who I’m voting for.

 

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@SoterTheadora