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How Biden might shore up the Affordable Care Act

Adeline Kon/Healthcare Dive/Healthcare Dive

This story is part of a series of articles looking at the health policy challenges the Biden administration will face.

As vice president, Joe Biden played a key role in ushering the Affordable Care Act through Congress, transforming the healthcare industry in America, and famously whispering to former President Barack Obama getting the law past the finish line was a “big f—ing deal.”

But the law looks much different today.

Over the past four years, the last administration and Republican lawmakers reversed a slew of components Biden pledges to rebuild, and he’s in a good position to do so with a Democratic Senate majority, though narrow. He’s also picking other ACA advocates for his cabinet, like California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead HHS.

Some of the pieces will be easier to put back together than others, and additions or enhancements including a public insurance option will undoubtedly be hotly contested. But it all comes on the heels of a historic global pandemic — one that’s underscored just how fractured the nation’s healthcare system is.

Biden could take a number of paths to achieve his health policy goals with COVID-19 still center stage. Ongoing relief legislation is one way […]

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