Biden: Revamped Version of Obamacare Will Be Called Bidencare

Melanie Arter | February 21, 2020 | 1:31pm EST
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(Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

( – Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that if he wins the presidential race, he will call his revamped version of Obamacare – Bidencare.

He said he would restore all the cuts to Obamacare that President Donald Trump made and would go beyond that with “the Biden option,” a public option that he described as “Medicare if you want it." He proposed spending $50 billion through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to find cures for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.


He said that researchers who are working on a particular treatment for a specific drug company should share their research in such a way that other outside researchers can use it. Then if the therapy works, researchers will be “exempt from liability” and they will receive a percentage of the profits.

During the CNN presidential town hall on Thursday night, Biden was asked how he would fix Obamacare to make it work as well as it was intended to work.

Biden: Number one, I would restore all the cuts this president has made in the affordable care act. Across the board. Number one. Number two, I’d add what President Obama and I wanted to add, but we had trouble. It took five presidents just to get us to the place where we were able to pass the affordable care act, which is a big deal. We did it without a single Republican vote, and I spent a lot of time camped out in the House and Senate getting those votes to get it done. What we wanted to do is add what they call a public option, and that is a Medicare-like option. If in fact you wanted to buy into that option or if you didn't have the money, you would be able to get it for free. So it's Medicare if you want it. 

So I add to the Biden option to Obamacare what we wanted to do in the first place, and I add to that the option of being able to have Medicare if you want it, a Medicare-like proposal. If you can't afford, if you qualify for Medicaid and you don't have it in your state, you’re automatically enrolled. There is no waiting for anything. 

Secondly, we make sure we reduce drug prices as well, allowing -- allowing the drug companies to-- for Medicare to be able to negotiate with the drug companies the cost of drugs. Number three, there’s now bio-drugs that are not chemical-based drugs, and very few companies are in fact, there may have one or two companies. I've been very deeply involved in dealing with cancer and cancer issues in the Biden moon shot and a whole range of things related to cancer. It's become-- it’s my passion. 

And I would set up at the Department of National Institute of Health, I would invest over $50 billion -- $5 billion over the next 10 years to focus on the diseases that cause the most damage and cost the most - cancer, Alzheimer's and obesity. Let me precise, and dealing with the whole notion of whether or not we're going have anything to do with how people in fact, their diets, how they work and how it works out. Because we now have so much evidence that's worked that we now have. And, look, in the department of -- the department of defense, there is a thing called -- I know Anderson knows about it, DARPA. 

It's the application agency that is separate and apart from the whole department. It sits over here, and it's supposed to find out those things that would advance the security of the United States that are out of the box. They're the guys and women that came up with the whole idea of the internet. They're the guys who came up with the whole idea of being able-- global spacing heat. They're the guys who came up with stealth technology, et cetera. We should be doing the same thing at NIH. We should have a department that says what we're going to do is deal with diabetes, deal with Alzheimer's and deal with cancer, and we're going to spend the money needed that the drug companies are unwilling to spend or unable to spend to make sure that in fact we find cures. I promise you, we are on the verge of changing significantly the ability to cure many cancers. Significant number of cancers, because we now have the capacity to do what never could be done before. 

We have a capacity to share – are any of you oncologists out there? Any of you researchers? You know that in the beginning back when Nixon declared war on cancer, he meant it, but he had no army. He had no ability for hospitals to share data. Today, for example, if you're diagnosed with cancer, you can have -- you can find specifically what genomic strain you have. You can have it sequenced. You can find out precisely of the 204 cancers that are out there identified now which one you have, and we now have the capacity to use a million, billion calculations per second to determine whether or not why that particular therapy works on you a doesn't work on me. What's the difference? Why is it happening? We have so many more tools, and now what you're finding is you have cancer researchers, as you know, and I've met with over 19,000 of them - there’s two big organizations that are out there doing research - that in fact they now are beginning to share data. 

You know, sometimes you don't have to be an expert on an issue, but you have to know how to organize. So I asked the question when the president put me in charge of the cancer moon shot, I said let me ask you. I said how many -- right now we're finding out that, we found a while ago that to deal with AIDS, multiple drugs may be required to control it. Well, multiple drugs now people are saying may be required to deal with certain cancers, but guess what? If you're the five drug companies and you each are working on the same particular therapy, and you have not found it yet, I said why can't we get them to put all their material on the table and any researcher come in and use it? And they said no, we can do that. 

I said, well let's go back and assign a monetary value to the work you're doing. If it works, you get 14% of the profit. You get 22%. You get -- and work it out ahead of time. Give you-- exempt you from liability, put it on the table and let researchers from around the world, anyone come in who’s qualified and determine and experiment with the answer. We've had over 8 million hits on that proposal. We're going to find cures that never were found before, because we're changing the way we think about things, and part of it is to do just that, to change the way we think. 

Last point I'll make, Alzheimer's. You know, if we don't find a cure to Alzheimer's, in the next 20 years, it's a fact, every single hospital bed that exists in America now will be occupied by an Alzheimer's patient, and it will cost the government, you taxpayers, us taxpayers, it will cost us $258 billion a year to pay for the cost of that. So folks, it's overwhelming interest to think outside the box here, think outside the box.

And so there’s a lot of things that I do with-- God willing if I'm elected, I can get this done, by the way. I can get this done. The idea that you’re going to be able to go out and have Medicare for all, God love them, as my mom would say. And by the way, they won't even tell you how much it costs anymore. Have you noticed that? And who's going to pay for it, you notice that?

But it's going to cost least $35 trillion over 10 years, $35 trillion. I can tell you, how many of you have lost a mom, dad, brother, sister, husband, wife, son or daughter to cancer? Raise your hand. We did this last time, remember? Look at this. Now what do you seek most of all?  Hope. Just a little hope. Hope, hope. And God, we have an obligation to move on what we can do now. Do it now. And that's what we can do when we pass, what I’m gonna-- if I win going to start calling Biden Care. 


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