Joe Biden for President

Mira Schwadron, Guest Writer

Although I am not yet of voting age, the following statements explain why my vote would go to Joe Biden.

  1. He supports the Affordable Care Act.

As someone with a disability, removal of the ACA would personally affect me as well as many other individuals throughout our country. Before the ACA was enacted in 2010, insurance companies were allowed to remove children from their parents’ insurance when they turned 18, forcing young adults to find and pay for their own insurance plan. With drugs such as insulin running several hundred dollars a month, most 18-year-olds would not be able to afford their medications without some kind of health insurance. Since many young adults don’t have a full-time job that provides insurance and paying for insurance individually is costly, the removal of the ACA would guarantee that more young Americans would be uninsured. The ACA also prevents insurance companies from denying coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions such as pregnancy, depression, diabetes, and cancer. Without this protection, people with disabilities would struggle to find an insurance company that is willing to accept them. The end of the ACA would eliminate healthcare coverage for 22 million people; this would increase mortality as the sick and uninsured are forced to ration medical care and critical medications.

  1. He supports public education.

In 2018, teachers on average were paid 21.4% less than employees with the same education and experience. As most children rely on public education, it is important that their educators make a fair wage in order to support their students as well as themselves. Biden will triple funding for Title I, a federal program that funds public schools with a high percentage of low-income students. He also plans to increase the number of psychologists and counselors in schools. The current average ratio of students to psychologists is 1,400:1, while most experts say it should be about 700:1. Providing public school students with the tools to pursue a higher education is critical to creating a healthy economy in which Americans have access to a variety of jobs. About six out of ten jobs in the United States require education beyond a high school diploma, and all students need an equal opportunity to access the education they need to pursue these jobs. With the understanding that the quality of a child’s early education is extremely important in his or her success later in life, Biden plans on implementing a $325 billion child care plan. It would provide free and universal preschool for all 3 and 4-year-olds and allow families to save money. Giving each child access to education will end the skew of some children having a greater access to opportunity than others.

  1. He supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2026.

Nowhere in America can someone survive on $7.25 an hour, and someone working 40 hours a week does not deserve to live in poverty. Although it is commonly believed that minimum wage workers are teenagers working in fast food restaurants, the majority are actually adults between the ages of 24 and 54. Of these individuals, 58% are women, 44% have college experience, and 28% have children. Increasing the minimum wage would most significantly affect these marginalized groups, helping to close the racial and gender wage gap. It would increase the wage of 38% of African Americans, providing additional income to an underprivileged minority group. Those who work year round would earn an additional $3,000 per year. The additional money provided to families would help provide more Americans with an adequate standard of living.

  1. Biden will implement a $20 billion grant program in order to reduce incarceration.

Many Americans are incarcerated for unjustified reasons, and a high number of incarcerations leads to high federal spending. Biden plans on reducing imprisonment for nonviolent drug offenders. Instead of spending on incarceration, he plans to spend on rehabilitation. Rehabilitating offenders rather than imprisoning them will help to decrease repeat incarceration since it teaches correct behavior rather than punishing for wrong behavior. In addition, Biden plans on ending federal mandatory minimum sentences, which automatically guarantees a certain amount of prison time for specific crimes. Instead, each judge will be able to decide a proper sentence for the offender. Biden also plans to decriminalize marijuana, which will end the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans for marijuana related crimes. Each imprisoned American costs the federal government about $100 per day. Biden acknowledges that the possession of marijuana is not worth the cost required to imprison someone and will expunge all previous marijuana convictions. Last, Biden plans to abolish the death penalty, as the risk of executing an innocent person is too high. Since 1973, about 160 individuals have been found innocent after being sentenced to death row. This archaic process does nothing to deter crime and is often influenced by the ethnic or socio-economic background of the prisoner. Overall, Biden would rather focus on the root causes of crime, such as mental illness, poverty, addiction, and racial inequality, rather than using execution or imprisonment.

In summary, Biden would get my vote. I believe that the former Vice-President will unify Americans rather than divide them. He realizes that change comes from the bottom up and not the top down, and therefore plans to provide low income families with access to education and healthcare. Every person in America deserves an adequate standard of living, regardless of race, gender, religion, or political ideology. I want a president that cares about the poor and underprivileged rather than the elite. This is why I would vote for Joe Biden.