The 2020 presidential election is heating up, with both the Democratic and Republican parties having already selected their respective candidates. The Democratic party nominated Joe Biden, while current president Donald Trump will run for a second term on the Republican ticket. Though Donald Trump has indicated he could make some cuts to Medicare, Joe Biden is leaning in the opposite direction.

What is Joe Biden’s stance on Medicare during the 2020 presidential campaign? What changes does he want to make? Finally, how likely are these changes to become a reality? We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s look at exactly what the Biden campaign is proposing.

What Does Joe Biden Want to Do to Medicare?

In short, candidate Joe Biden wants to expand Medicare. As the former Vice President, Joe Biden supported and helped craft the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which brought the U.S. healthcare system to millions of Americans. Before the ACA was passed into law, many Americans couldn’t afford health insurance. With the ACA, more people can access healthcare, though many Democrats believe that the ACA did not go far enough.

As a result, many on the left are proposing “Medicare for All,” which would expand the current benefits of Medicare to every U.S. citizen. So far, Joe Biden has not shown much support for Medicare for All. In fact, he has said that he would veto Medicare for All if it passed through Congress, as he believes that it is too expensive. He believes that the current healthcare system works, but it could be improved. More specifically, rather than replacing the entire healthcare system, Biden wants to make the following reforms:

  • Lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60
  • Add a “public option” for those who want lower costs but don’t qualify for Medicaid
  • A ban on “surprise billing
  • Legislation to give the federal government more power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices
  • Expansions to existing elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Will These Changes Actually Happen?

As with most legislation, it’s hard to say if these changes will actually pass through Congress. Assuming Joe Biden wins the election, any changes to Medicare will be an uphill battle. Currently, the Republican party controls the Senate, while the Democrats control the House of Representatives.

In the past, Republicans have been resistant to more government intervention in the healthcare system. So, getting major expansions to Medicare and the ACA passed through the Senate will be difficult. If any changes do pass, the Democrats will likely have to make some concessions to the Republicans.

Bottom Line

Joe Biden doesn’t want to introduce Medicare for All, but he does want to expand federal funding to Medicare and healthcare subsidies. This could benefit current Medicare beneficiaries and older adults who will soon qualify for Medicare. In any case, we will need to wait and see what happens in November and the following months to know if any changes will actually go into effect.

If you’d like to learn more about your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.