Joe Biden has campaigned to bring back Obamacare. But he will face challenges in restoring parts of the healthcare policy that President Donald Trump has worked to change, Politico reports.
Biden will have difficulty reversing some of the changes Trump has implemented like cuts to reproductive health funding and contraceptive coverage because they have held up in the courts. He will also likely face opposition from lawmakers if Republicans maintain control of the Senate.
According to Politico, health lobbyists have also been preparing to attack Biden’s public option plan for healthcare.
Democrat strategists think Biden will use the coronavirus pandemic to help boost support for legislative action on healthcare. They also predict he will take emergency action to reopen Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces to the uninsured and reboot funds for enrollment outreach that Trump nixed.
“The pandemic has made clear to people how important it has to have consistent health coverage,” Biden policy adviser Stef Feldman told Politico.
Experts say it will be harder for Biden to get rid of Trump’s short-term health insurance plans, which are typically cheaper and don’t provide as many benefits. Over the summer, a federal appeals court ruled the policy did not conflict with Obamacare. A House-approved bill to strike down an expansion of the plans went nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate, according to Politico.
“I think [Biden] will want to do what he can by legislation and otherwise look to regulations to fulfill his promises and try to reshape the health care system,” said Henry Waxman, a former Democrat lawmaker who helped write Obamacare.
Any efforts to overturn socially conservative healthcare policies put in place by the Trump administration would likely be challenging and face lengthy litigation.
"[California Attorney General Xavier] Becerra is celebrating the 100th lawsuit against Trump — [Texas AG Ken] Paxton will be just as excited,” Katie Keith, a health law professor at Georgetown University, told Politico. “Republicans won’t be any less litigious, and then you remember the 200 judges Trump has appointed — whatever challenges will be argued before arguably more sympathetic judges."
This summer, the Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate under Obamacare.
Biden will likely try to reverse Trump’s decision to take Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the $250 million-plus Title X family planning program as well as Trump’s rollback of anti-discrimination rules for transgender patients.
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