Trade groups representing insurers and hospitals Saturday pledged to work President-elect Joe Biden and a new administration on combating the coronavirus pandemic and continuing to reshape the nation's healthcare system.
"There are many healthcare challenges that our nation must face together—from continuing to battle the COVID-19 crisis, to making healthcare and prescription drugs more affordable, to protecting patients from surprise medical bills, to ensuring stable coverage markets for those who need it most," Matt Eyles president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a statement.
Those comments were echoed by heads of the American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said the group has the same top priority as President-elect Biden: fighting COVID-19, adding, "As we continue on the front lines in this fight, we will work as partners to protect our patients and communities, as well as support our brave healthcare workers."
He listed access to coverage, affordability and improving quality of care as other priorities for working with the new administration.
AAMC President and CEO Dr. David Skorton pledged to work in a non-partisan way with the Trump administration, Biden administration and Congress to provide "clinical and scientific expertise … to help reduce the severity and scope of the pandemic, speed the development of effective treatments and cures, and ensure that the needs of marginalized individuals and communities are met."
Biden plans to name a coronavirus task force Monday. Speaking to a drive-in car rally Saturday night in Wilmington, Del., he said the group will be made of "leading scientists and experts," and that it will be "built on a bedrock of science, constructed out of compassion, empathy and concern."
The Washington Post reported that the co-chairs will be Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration, and David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Biden said that getting COVID-19 "under control" is a top priority, noting that the country won't be able to get the economy back on track under the pandemic is under control.
The Associated Press on Saturday declared Biden the winner in both Pennsylvania and Nevada, giving him 290 electoral votes, 20 more than necessary to claim victory in the bitter presidential campaign. President Donald Trump has not conceded the race and plans to challenge vote counts in several states. Most legal experts say it is unlikely that any recounts will swing the electoral college tally in his favor.