New US President Joe Biden shared a message on New Year Eve on Thursday, 31st December 2020, addressing the nation to “unite, heal and rebuild in 2021“.
He stated: “The challenges we face as a nation will not disappear overnight, but as we look forward to the start of a new year, I’m filled with fresh hope about the possibilities of better days to come“. He also added, “After a year of pain and loss, let us unite, heal, and rebuild in 2021.”
From the above few quotes, it is clear that the upcoming US President Joe Biden is thinking to make a gamut of reforms for the good of the people of America. Let’s check out some such upcoming changes that people can expect from Biden and his party.
President-elect Joe Biden stated that the relief package of COVID-19 as approved by Congress is “just the first step” and a “down payment” in sorting out multiple crises America is currently facing. He said that he is about to put forth a plan soon asking Congress to send more police, frontline health officials, firefighters, and millions of other working families.
Biden noted that the unemployment benefit is supposed to extend for 10 weeks as per the latest relief package, but he said “it’s going to take a lot longer than that.” He also added that he will solicit more resources to issue Coronavirus vaccines and speed up the testing procedure, which will serve as a necessary step towards reopening the academic institutions.
American Middle Class
The economic agenda of this 77-year-old yet capable candidate may not be as detailed as others’ and also doesn’t include similar extensive proposals. However, he is still optimistic and ambitious towards bringing about a reset button for all the people of USA rattled by incumbent President Trump. Biden proposed 2 new policies with the objective to “ease the economic burden on working people“.
Re-organizing and making the middle class thoroughly inclusive is Biden campaign’s cornerstone. “This country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers and CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by the American middle class,” Biden stated at a rally initiating proceedings of his campaign.
Though it may sound something similar to what Bernie Sanders would say, Joe Biden in lieu of casting himself as a leader of “a revolution” has considered being moderate with sensible cum achievable resolutions against economic inequality. In a speech of 2018, held at Brookings Institution, Biden said “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble“. “The folks at the top aren’t bad guys.”
But Biden believes that the growing middle-class Americans, which he prefers to consider more in terms of lifestyle and values and not as an income group, is crucial for political and social stability in the United States. He rather implies the lack of optimism and opportunities going around in the country for “a younger generation that’s questioning the very essence of our capitalist system” and “phony populism“.
As per the Pew Research report of 2018, about 52% of American adults resided in middle-income households. The annual household income of these adults is ⅔rd to double the national mean after income adjustments have been done for household size. In 2018, the yearly income scale for a 3 member middle-class household was $48,500 to $145,500.
Pew also reported that the middle class is proportionally smaller in the U.S. compared to many advanced economies, plus, dissimilarity in the income between the middle-class groups is growing. Added to that, the middle class is yet to reach its previous peak of 2007, whereas the top 20% have already, completely retrieved from the Great Recession, as per the Brookings experts.
Biden said, “Folks in the middle class are in trouble. It’s not just their perception. They are in trouble“. So, it can be expected that he might be in the process of rectifying the well-being of the American middle class.
As per the official report of the U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate shot up to 9.2% in 2019 from 8.9% in 2018. During this period, the population without health coverage reduced in 1 state while increased greatly in 19 states.
Biden tweeted accusing Trump’s administration that followed countless attacks on the ACA (Affordable Care Act), in a tweet. As an upcoming president, he promises to safeguard and build on the Affordable Care Act. Though he claims that healthcare is the primary right and privilege for all, he is totally against Medicare-for-all or revoking private insurance as that would mean purging of the hard-won Obamacare and beginning political concession. Last year, in a debate held on 12 September, Biden even argued upon the fact that the cost of Medicare-for-all would exceed $30 trillion over the next 10 years.
According to Biden, his healthcare proposal will extend Obamacare, thereby insuring about 97% of Americans, and would cost not more than $750 billion over a decade. He is also thinking of introducing a public health insurance facility, just like Medicare. But, it will be freemium in nature, making it available to the individuals of those states that are lacking in Medicaid and also to people making less than 138% of the central poverty level.
Other than that, Biden is thinking to eliminate around 400% central poverty level income cap with the aim of lowering employees’ maximum donation for up to 8.5% coverage and for tax credit eligibility. Moreover, he promises to restrict the healthcare providers from “surprise billing” the patients with unreasonable rates, allow Medicare to make negotiations with drug manufacturers at lower prices, start an independent board of review which will decide and set a reasonable price for the drugs without going for market competition, penalize increase in the price of the drug over the inflation rate, support generic development, restore central funding for an Organized Parenthood, etc.
Well, there are many others including taxes, student debt, workers’ rights, infrastructure, and climate change, rural America, etc., where a visible change is expected to happen soon with the incumbency of new US President Joe Biden, which will be effective on 20th January 2021.