Perspective: How U.S. health policy may play out given partisan divide

Democrats’ and Republicans’ profound divisions on key issues of health care policy will play a large role in how the Biden administration and Congress address these issues in the near future, according to a new article by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health experts.

In a March 5, 2021, Perspective article in JAMA Network, co-authors Robert Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, Emeritus; John Benson, senior research scientist, and Eric Schneider, adjunct professor of health policy and management, cited national polling data in outlining partisan differences on four issues— COVID-19, universal coverage and national health insurance reform, U.S. health care system reform, and race and disparities in health care.

The authors noted that, among the four issues, partisan differences are the least pronounced regarding COVID-19. “Individuals in the U.S. overall, as well as both Democrats and Republicans, want to address the destructive effects of COVID-19,” they wrote. As for other health care policy areas, the authors said that Congress may struggle to achieve legislative consensus, so the Biden administration may rely more on executive orders and administrative actions to address problems.

Read the JAMA article: The Future of Health Policy in a Partisan United States