Joe Biden has surged since the South Carolina primary, and the received wisdom is that this was mainly because of the perception by his voters that he was the most electable candidate against President Donald Trump. But there are some potential pitfalls that have not yet surfaced, and some of them concern voters who are currently among Biden’s strongest base of support: Americans over 65 years old.
Biden has proposed a plan for health care reform that has quite literally left senior citizens out in the cold.
This could become increasingly, and vitally, important as the threat of coronavirus increases exponentially. Older Americans are at a vastly higher risk than the general population; people over 65 have accounted for the vast majority of deaths in other countries.
His plan is basically an expansion of the ACA, or Obamacare. It proposes, for example, to increase the subsidies that the government will provide for people who buy private insurance under the program. It has also proposed a public option, run by the federal government, that people could buy into.
For example, Medicare does not pay for eyeglasses or hearing aids. It does not cover dental care. And it does not pay for long-term care. Although Medicaid, our federal and state public health insurance program for low-income Americans, does pay for long-term care, it only does so after someone has depleted their life savings, and is poor enough to qualify for Medicaid in the state in which they live.