Vice Presidential Nominee Profile: Joe Biden
- Inform the public and protect against the use of illegal and nonprescription drugs, especially by teenagers.
- Rein in rogue Internet pharmacies that dispense medication without personal assessment or a prescription.
- Supported new FDA reform bill giving the agency broader regulatory powers.
Electronic Record Keeping
- Move to electronic record keeping for cost savings.
- Invest at least $1 billion annually in technology to improve communications and care quality, as well as to guard against duplication of services.
- Allow Americans aged 55-64 to buy into Medicare (current age is 65).
- Stabilize Medicare reimbursement formulas to doctors.
- Allow Medicare patients to take part in clinical trials on new treatments and medicines.
- Use the federal government's bulk purchasing power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs for the Medicare Part D program. The Veterans Administration currently does this, but current Medicare law prohibits government negotiation with pharmaceutical companies.
- Close the gap in Medicare benefits, the so-called "doughnut hole," which occurs when a Medicare recipient hits $2,400 in coverage, and then must pay for his or her drugs out-of-pocket until costs reach $5,451.
Supports human embryonic stem cell research on discarded human embryos created for use in fertility treatments. He voted for the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007," but it was vetoed by the president.
Public Health Issues
- Address the shortage of nurses nationwide by increasing funding for the Nurse Student Loan Program, and the Nursing Faculty Loan Program. Biden plans to train and put 100,000 new nurses in the workforce in the next five years.
- Fund the establishments of doctoral nursing degree programs in states where they don't exist.
- Spearhead programs to prepare doctors for the changing needs of patients in the future, with emphasis on geriatrics, emergency care, and family medicine.
- Biden stresses the need for people to get tested for HIV as a preventive measure. He has been tested himself because of a blood transfusion.
- Supports Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
- Supports the federal Title X Family Planning program, which offers information, services, and research for family planning.
Information compiled by Michele Foust.