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Joe Biden might officially be declared the president-elect, so it's worth asking: what exactly are his policies?

What exactly are Joe Biden’s policies and how might they change the U.S?

We won’t know for sure who the next U.S. President will be until the electoral college casts their votes. However, most people & news outlets think former VP Joe Biden will take over the White House. With Senator Kamala Harris by his side, the Biden administration has already drafted grand plans to enact their policies if they win the election.

As Joe Biden said at a campaign event in Gettysburg, “I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I will work with Democrats and Republicans and I will work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a president. It’s a duty of care for everyone.” 

While we know about his stated plans for COVID-19 relief, the rest of his policies haven’t been as publicized. Only time will tell if his aims to unite the (very divided) U.S. will be successful. Meanwhile, we’re taking a look at the policies listed on the Biden campaign website, and what Biden’s stated goals are if he makes it to the White House.

Coronavirus outbreak

Joe Biden’s website described detailed plans to enact his coronavirus relief policies. Biden’s stated priorities include offering more free testing to Americans, ramping up production of personal protection equipment, and listening to scientific experts about the best way to safely reopen the country. 

Once a vaccine is officially approved by the FDA, Biden has outlined his plan to invest billions into producing & distributing the vaccine. By making the vaccine widely available & free, Biden claimed it will allow more Americans to have access to it.

Arguably, the most controversial part of Biden’s coronavirus plan is a national mask mandate. Masks have been a controversial topic during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Biden’s website affirmed, “Experts say that if 95% of Americans wear masks between now and December, we can save almost 70,000 lives.” 

Current U.S. President Donald Trump has made it clear he doesn’t plan on putting a national mask mandate in place. Instead, he’s decided to allow states to make the call themselves. Most states have adopted their own mask mandate, but not all of them. 

Economy

If coronavirus didn’t happen in 2020, the economy would easily be the biggest issue in the election regardless. While America’s economy has slowly been rebuilding since the Great Recession that started in 2008, coronavirus completely destroyed it. As such, Biden asserted his first order of business will be to support those hurt by COVID-19.

Joe Biden described his plans for a new stimulus package aimed at ensuring local & state governments have the funds they need to support essential workers. His described plans included extending COVID-19 unemployment resources until those out of work are back at it. It also includes a “comeback package” for small businesses & entrepreneurs. 

Joe Biden declared he wants to make sure anything that can be manufactured in the U.S. is manufactured in the U.S. Biden cited a need for “flexible American-sourced and manufactured capability to ensure we are not dependent on other countries in a crisis” like COVID-19.   

Joe Biden also outlined plans to provide more support for parents and those who care for disabled & elderly relatives, offering them the resources they need to care for loved ones while working. As part of his racial equality initiatives, Joe Biden also detailed a plan to end the racial wage divide, including expanding work, housing, and education opportunities to Americans “regardless of race or zip code”. 

Environment

Arguably, Joe Biden’s most controversial stated policies concern the environment. Tied into his aforesaid economic goals, Biden claimed to want to shift the country’s focus from oil to natural & renewable energy sources. Biden outlined his plans to create sustainable infrastructures, build the economy around clean energy, and rejoin the Paris Agreement. 

Joe Biden’s website detailed a plan to give people in the oil & energy industries the first chance to enter clean-energy jobs so they’re not left in the dust. To reach his stated mission of hitting net-zero emissions and create a 100% clean energy economy by 2050, Biden asserted he will pass executive orders to give Congress deadlines for when these goals should be met. 

Healthcare

As a former member of the Obama Administration, Joe Biden declared his continued support for the Affordable Care Act, and his website outlined his stated plan to build upon the existing infrastructure of the ACA. His big mission is to offer a public option similar to Medicare for Americans under sixty-five years old. 

Biden described this public option on his website as an alternative to private insurance rather than a nationwide mandate. “Whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, Biden will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare.”

If this goal is achieved, Biden claimed he will negotiate lower prescription drug costs and address “surprise medical billing”, especially when patients are forced to see an out-of-network provider during a hospital visit. He also outlined plans to offer larger tax credits for low-income families to make it easier for them to afford healthcare.

Joe Biden also detailed his goals to secure federal funding for Planned Parenthood again, and ensure all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender identity can get treatment, and reinvesting in community health centers. 

This is far from the end of Joe Biden’s stated policies as president. Joe Biden’s campaign website also outlines detailed goals about the U.S. education system, racial tensions, and the U.S. military. We’ll dive into Biden’s other policies in a future piece.

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