As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, healthcare is shaping up to be a crucial issue in the 2020 presidential election.
The Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is running for the White House on a promise to preserve the Affordable Care Act and expand government insurance. His campaign has assembled a team of experts — specializing in national security and public health — to keep the candidate, staff, and voters safe from the coronavirus.
Biden's positions on healthcare are an extension of those of his former boss, former President Barack Obama, but they're also being shaped by longtime allies and Democratic advisers.
In August, Biden picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate. During the primary, Harris ran to the left of Biden on healthcare. She is a cosponsor of "Medicare for all" in the Senate, but her campaign settled on a different plan that would have enrolled most people into government insurance while still leaving private insurers in the game.
As the campaign heads into its final weeks, Business Insider has exclusively assembled a list of the most influential people shaping the Biden-Harris campaign on healthcare issues. Many were prominent figures during the Obama administration.
Should Biden win the presidency, many of the people who worked with him during the campaign would be in a strong position to work in his administration.
Ron Klain, for example, coordinated the US response to the Ebola epidemic under Obama and has been front and center on the Biden campaign's messaging about the coronavirus. The Biden campaign recently tapped Rohini Kosoglu as senior adviser to Harris. Kosoglu was an adviser in the Senate during the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Vivek Murthy was surgeon general during Obama's presidency. Now, he's a co-chair of Biden's healthcare team and has helped iron out policy differences between the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic party. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a key designer of the Affordable Care Act and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, is advising the campaign on coronavirus safety.
Also on the list are informal advisers who have the former vice president's ear, based on interviews with multiple sources close to the campaign. They include Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the rollout of the ACA's Healthcare.gov site.
Should Biden win the White House, these experts would shape how the US emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and how lawmakers next tackle healthcare reform.
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Meet the 25 power players advising Joe Biden on crucial healthcare issues from the coronavirus pandemic to health insurance reform
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