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Joe Biden Rolls Out Health Plan In Stark Contrast To Medicare For All

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign dropped his health care plan Monday, and the proposal would build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rather than attempt to dismantle it as some of his rivals envision.

“I understand the appeal of Medicare for all, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of Obamacare, and I’m not for that. … Starting over makes no sense to me at all. … I’m surprised that so many Democrats are running on getting rid of it,” Biden said in his health plan launch video.

Biden’s plan would offer a public option that people can choose even if their employer provides their coverage. It would also expand ACA premium subsidies, tax drugmakers who raise their prices above inflation and establish an “independent review board” to recommend prices partially based on other countries’ prices for drugs bought through Medicare and the public option.

Biden’s desire to build on the ACA, an undertaking touted as one of the biggest achievements of the Obama administration, should come as no surprise. Biden said it would be “a sin” to kill the ACA and start over in a July 8 interview with CNN.

Biden’s plan could invite “potential controversy” because of the public option angle, reported Axios. Many states expanded Medicaid through the ACA framework, but others, typically red states, did not. Under Biden’s model, states that expanded would keep paying “their current share” of expansion costs, which might reward states that did not take advantage of Medicaid expansion.

Meanwhile, 2020 hopefuls including Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are behind Medicare for all.

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