April 29, 2021
Biden Delivers First Joint Address to Congress
On Wednesday, April 28, President Joe Biden addressed a joint session of Congress to mark his first 100 days in office. During his address, President Biden acknowledged the devastating toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the nation, as well as efforts taken to deliver over 220 million vaccine doses to Americans over the first 100 days of his presidency.
President Biden also referenced ongoing efforts to combat the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic, which remains a key priority of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. ASA continues to advocate for judicious and appropriate use of opioids in the perioperative setting, and leverages partnerships between government officials, physician anesthesiologists, and other important stakeholders.
President Biden’s speech made only a brief reference to the Medicare program, despite a push from progressive Democrats for a strong commitment to Medicare expansion through a public option or a change in Medicare eligibility age. However, President Biden highlighted his goals of strengthening the Affordable Care Act and bolstering the National Institute of Health’s ability to develop medical breakthrough. He called for the creation of an Advanced Research Projects Agency through the NIH, to better prevent, detect, and treat diseases like diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
ASA looks forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to advocate for patient safety and increased access to health care services in the US.
Read the full text of the 2021 Joint Address to Congress here