Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons under CC-BY-SA-2.0

On the campaign trail, the former vice president made many promises while discussing some of the legislation he would attempt to implement over the next four years. This includes complex policies, such as his healthcare plans, to more simple ideas, like treating the COVID-19 pandemic with greater seriousness in comparison to his predecessor. However, the level of progress he and his constituents are willing to bring about is nowhere near the level where it should be, given the hardships Americans have recently faced. While electing Joe Biden to be our president is a step in the right direction, the nation should expect more progress and change out of the Biden administration.

The election took place in a manner akin to the chaotic and tumultuous four years Americans experienced under the Trump administration. As the oldest president-elect at 77 years of age, Joe Biden’s victory comes as a result of the turnout of many significant populations, including women, people of color, voters of all ages and even some discontent Republicans. Biden has expressed a message of unity and healing with a call to return to normalcy, no matter how daunting of a task that may be. 

We need a much better response to the pandemic than what we had received under the Trump administration. Under Biden, the U.S. should expect increased COVID-19 testing, a national mask mandate, closure of schools and the potential of nationwide lockdowns. The Biden team has already named its own COVID-19 advisory board in an effort to generate an effective plan. Biden has also stated that he plans to repair the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. However, much more is needed for our nation, such as contact tracing, which is known to be effective in combating the impact of the virus. Additionally, the country needs more stimulus bills and other legislation that provides aid to those in need.  Furthermore, the number of cases break multiple records each day as hospitals overflow, urging more support and budgeting to be done in order to support large patient populations.

Healthcare is another major issue that needs an overhaul. The incoming administration has proposed to implement Bidencare, a  plan to reform and expand on the Affordable Care Act. The main goals of this legislation would include: creating a new public health insurance option, streamlining health care plans, reducing prescription drug costs and keeping health care accessible. However, this legislation is unfortunately still not a plan for universal healthcare, which the pandemic has illustrated to be a necessity for the nation when it comes to health care reform. Privatized insurance does not work either as many Americans, especially those of lower-income communities, are rather apprehensive of visiting a doctor. And the pandemic has exposed the flaws in the broken healthcare system, while little is being done about it. Bidencare is too minimal of a change, being only a slight step up from Obamacare of a decade ago. 

Joe Biden’s message of healing and unity is one that is necessary to overcome the struggles we will face in the next four years because of the damage the Trump administration brought. However, to achieve the most for the American people, more substantial progress must be made in regard to handling the pandemic and healthcare.