With the recent election having passed, health care policy is something on many people’s minds right now. I wanted to talk about how health care costs have affected me and my family and how some of President-elect Joe Biden’s policies, if implemented, can help many Americans like me.

The public option for health insurance will be helpful in many ways. When I lost my job in 2018, it was difficult to get my frequent medical needs covered. While I eventually found a plan that would help me, I managed to accumulate almost $2,000 worth of debt in that time. And I’m not alone in this.

According to a recent CNBC article, more than 130 million Americans face medical debt, and about 66% of all personal bankruptcies are tied to medical issues. Providing a reliable, public option for insurance that covers everyone is a big step toward solving this issue.

Another important proposal is allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Many other countries allow the government to negotiate drug prices, and all of them spend less on health care than we do. High costs in health care lead to many problems for Americans, such as Americans forgoing treatment that they can’t afford. Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices is a reliable way to address this issue.

Whether Biden will actually get this done is yet to be seen. However, the policies I’ve mentioned are good steps in the right direction for fixing our broken health care system, and I think we should encourage more lawmakers to consider them.

Sam Martello