President-elect Joe Biden has said he intends to focus his health-care policy on a reboot of the Affordable Care Act and launch the first federally run health-care plan. But as with much of his agenda, the fate of his plans rests on which party has control of the Senate following Georgia’s runoff elections in January.
Mr. Biden’s boldest proposals include lowering the age for Medicare enrollment to 60 from 65 and instituting a public-option health plan.
Tackling the surge of coronavirus cases will pose the most immediate challenge. Mr. Biden is focusing on the pandemic ahead of his inauguration with his own coronavirus advisory group. He has already used his role as president-elect to urge the public to wear masks and social distance, and his transition team has begun working with the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services.
They have also been in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert. Mr. Biden has yet to name a new Health and Human Services secretary.
Kate Bedingfield, a senior Biden transition adviser, said last week that the transition agency review teams had reached out to the White House and each relevant federal agency to request briefings on “all matters related to the Covid-19 response.” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said last week that Mr. Biden’s team had been briefed on Covid response by Rear Admiral Erica Schwartz, the deputy surgeon general.