It’s campaign season as I write this. There’s 100 days until the 2020 election. The Coronavirus pandemic is in full swing and thousands of a Americans are dying every day, in large part because of the incompetency of Donald Trump. He’s responded by stoking violent protests and sending in federal unmarked troops into Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and Albuquerque (although that last one seems pretty odd, given that there are not protests there). In the mix of all this, Joe Biden has secured the delegates he needs to win the Democratic Nomination. Some folks have asked “what are his policies” and I gave a summary on Quora, which I’m copying and adding to here.
What are Joe Biden’s policies?
There are literally HUNDREDS of individual proposals described in FORTY THREE pages on Biden’s website. They range from a comprehensive strategy for addressing COVID-19 to rebuilding the manufacturing base of the US after the gutting caused by Trump’s failed trade war.
How to summarize 43 pages? Not an easy task.
Random selections from his page include the following points. THERE’S MORE. If you want to read the details, visit Joe’s Vision – Joe Biden for President
(You may see an appeal for donations. Simply click through on the upper right)
- Rebuilding infrastructure with $2 trillion investment in roads, bridges, and water systems.
- Add a public health option to the ACA… essentially allowing workers to buy in to Medicare at rates far lower than most are presently paying for their health insurance
- Using the power of Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, increase the availability of generics and allow importation of pharmaceuticals from safe countries.
- Double the federal investment in community health centers, improve access to mental health services and ensure that insurance covers mental health on par with physical health (called “mental health parity”).
- Create more generous subsidies for ACA plans which will reduce costs and deductibles for people who buy in
- A real plan, based on science, for responding to COVID-19
- Major assistance to displaced workers caused by COVID, along with support to cities to keep police, firefighters, and medical professionals from being laid off
- Move our electricity generation to carbon-free (targetIng 2035)
- Universal internet broadband
- Subsidies for affordable community based child care
- $15 / hour minimum wage
- Free tuition for college for students from families making less than $125K
- Universal paid sick leave and paid family leave, like every other advanced country had
- Shift the burden so that mega corporations pay their fair share in taxes and small businesses get a much needed boost
- Increase availability of low cost housing (1.5 million units) to address the housing crunch that puts families on the street even when employed
- A smart electric grid to allow solar and wind power to be distributed nationwide
- Go after companies that are polluting by coordinating between the EPA and DOJ
- Require the super wealthy to pay tax rates that are actually on par with working stiffs (Mark Zuckerberg pays a lower tax rate than I do. WTF?) by removing the exemption for capital gains.
- Enforce the ADA and build a more inclusive economy for America’s 61 million people with disabilities
- Increase access to contraception and restore federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion-specific health services (like STD diagnosis and prenatal care).
- Reduce the incarceration rate while reducing crime by investing in proven Non-prison strategies (Drug courts, homeless services, rehab programs, domestic violence prevention, etc). End private prisons. End the school to prison pipeline. Focus on rehabilitation, not just punishment
- Enforce the border WITHOUT cruel and senseless policies like separating children from parents and denying entry to poor people. Honor the right to apply for asylum while making the system more streamlined and efficient. End the siphoning of military funds and work with Congress to strengthen the border.
- Reinstate DACA and improve the citizenship process for people who have served in the US military
- Create a roadmap for citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented residents. Build up the temporary visa program to allow migrant workers to live in Mexico and migrate over to work on farms during the harvest while paying them a fair wage.
- Support, streamline, and improve the VA medical system with new facilities, increased staffing, and ensuring that rural hospitals that support vets stay open. Improve woman’s health services in the VA and provide child care. Allow victims of TBI and toxic waste exposure to fully access the VA. Improve suicide prevention programs.
- Go after the drug companies that created the Opioid crisis and invest $125M in treatment services.
- Ban the manufacture and sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines. Institute a buy back program to soak up some of the guns on the street. Close the gun show loophole as many other loopholes that allow the mentally ill, criminals and fugitives from justice to legally buy guns. Prevent people convicted of a hate crime from legally buying a gun.
- Fast track the development of smart guns. Incentivize red flag laws and state gun licensing laws. Fund enforcement of existing gun laws and CDC research on gun violence as a public health issue.
- Strengthen programs for employment of veterans as they transition to civilian life and improve the GI bill to give lifelong education benefits to vets. End predatory practices by for-profit schools that rip off vets.
- Reschedule Marijuana as a class II drug which allows medical research, and empowers states who have legalized Cannabis
- End the Trump Administration’s war on LGBTQ, including in the military and in federal hiring, housing, and healthcare