- A split Senate limits legislation to what can pass through budget reconciliation and gain support of all 50 Democrats
- Anticipate Biden to expand Obamacare and Medicare instead of introducing new programs, like a “public option”
- The selections of Harris for VP and Becerra for HHS Secretary signal continued tight anti-trust enforcement
- Expect increased and well-financed PE-backed disruption
A Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration has significant implications for U.S. healthcare. While it is instructive to review candidates’ platforms related to the industry, they tend to be better predictors of priority than the ultimate shape of policy or legislation. Biden’s boldest plans will be challenging to achieve, even with Vice President Harris serving as the tiebreaker in the evenly-split Senate.
Democrats are not unified behind sweeping expansion of federal health coverage like the public option, as we saw during the 2010 ACA debate. With little hope of GOP support for most liberal healthcare policies, it is unlikely that any significant legislation will receive the required 60-vote approval in the Senate to bypass the filibuster. Experts agree that Biden will have to rely on the budget reconciliation process- which requires only a simple majority- to pass healthcare legislation. Yet there are parameters to