Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) announced on Tuesday his plans for making health care more available and affordable to Americans, the Associated Press reported.
Unlike most of his fellow Democratic cadidates, Biden did not call for universal health- care coverage; rather, he said that people who do not currently have insurance will get it if they have more options from which to choose.
“I don’t think you are going to need to mandate,” he said. “When affordable health care is available, people will buy it.”
Details of the Biden plan
- To provide health coverage for uninsured children, Biden proposes expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, to at least 300 percent of the poverty level — or about $61,950 for a family of four, and raising the coverage age to at least 21
- Families that do not meet this poverty line will still be able to purchase coverage under his plan
- Biden wants to allow a buy-in to a health-care program similar to that of federal employees, which would be paid on a sliding scale according to patients’ income
- To encourage “wellness,” Biden’s detailed plan (pdf) calls for the elimination of all co-pays for routine physicals and check-ups
Biden said his plan will cost between $80 billion and $110 billion per year to put into action. It would be paid for by rolling back tax cuts for the top 1 percent, eliminating tax breaks on capital gains and dividends and ending tax loopholes for hedge-fund managers and private equity partners, his campaign told the AP.