When Joe Biden takes office as the nation’s 46th president, the coronavirus pandemic will almost certainly remain at a desperately dark hour. Models from disease forecasters show cases and deaths continuing to surge.
The pandemic — the worst public health crisis in a century — is destined to define the early part of the Biden administration, which will confront decisions about distribution of vaccines and other measures designed to stanch the spread of the virus.
But much as the pandemic will leave an indelible mark on the lives of millions of Americans, it will inform for years to come decisions about problems besetting the health-care system: the cost of care, racial and ethnic disparities in access to care and health outcomes, and the tattered foundations of the public health network.
The quest to liberate the United States from the coronavirus crisis looms as Biden’s most immediate challenge, but it also presents a signal opportunity to address health issues that have bedeviled the nation for years.
Affordable Care Act
Biden team looks at expanding access to insurance marketplaces
By Amy Goldstein
President-elect Joe Biden has maintained that making it easier for people to turn to health plans under the Affordable Care Act would help buffer Americans who have lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic ripple effects and forfeited job-based health coverage as a result.
A different epidemic
When the coronavirus fades, Biden will confront a resurgent drug epidemic
By Lenny Bernstein
President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration has pledged to spend big to curb overdose deaths, the next looming public health crisis.
Biden prioritizes tackling racial and ethnic inequities during pandemic
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Since the first wave of the coronavirus hit in March, public health officials have expressed alarm that Blacks, Latinos and other people of color are more likely to fall ill with covid-19 than their White counterparts — and more likely to die.