The President visited Germanna Community College to discuss giving families “more breathing room” by lowering the costs of prescription drugs and healthcare overall. During his speech, the President spoke of the tragic death of his son in 2015 and the multiple aneurysms that Biden himself suffered, which gave him experiences of the healthcare system both as a patient and as a father of a sick patient.
Biden spoke of his “significant experience with hospital care” when his son, an attorney general of Delaware, Beau Biden, was diagnosed with cancer.
Beau was deployed to Iraq where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the President said: “You know, he came back with glioblastoma and he died.”
The President then went on to say: “You know, the fact is that – and I – I was hospitalised for a long time. I had, a couple years ago, a cranial aneurysm, and was hospitalised for a long time.”
During his time as Senator, Biden was hospitalised in 1988 and required surgery for the two brain aneurysms he suffered.
The first aneurysm ruptured in February putting the future President in a life-or-death situation, the other aneurysm was on the other side of his brain and needed surgery for the following May resulting in deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism.
If untreated, cranial aneurysms can lead to a stroke due to the pressure of the bulging blood vessel on the brain.
At 79 years old, Biden is the oldest US president to ever take office. In the 1980s he wrote about the experience of the two cranial aneurysms and stated that “it surprised me but I had no real fear of dying.”
The latest medical assessment released by Biden’s doctor in December 2019 two years before he took office revealed a lot of details about the President’s health which has been increasingly speculated in recent times.
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Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor noted that he was taking blood thinners and treatment for acid reflux, cholesterol and allergies.
At the time, the President exercised five days a week and did not drink alcohol or smoke leading to Dr O’Connor referring to Biden as “vigorous” and fit to be president.
Biden also had other surgeries including having his gallbladder removed as well as several non-melanoma skin cancers and had a few sinus surgeries.
Speaking on the progress made for American healthcare, Biden said:
“You can no longer get that surprise billings we got. If your healthcare plan did not cover a particular doctor but you didn’t even know he was being consulted and you get an extra bill for two to five thousand dollars – they can’t do that anymore. No more surprise billing. No more.”
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“I’ve long said healthcare should be right, not a privilege, in this country. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer – they’re not partisan issues. They’re not Democrat or Republican.”
The President discussed the issue of inflation causing the cost-of-living to soar and ended his speech with an anecdote:
“Every time I’d walk out of my grandpop’s house up in Scranton, Pennsylvania – his name was Ambrose Finnegan; he was an All-American football player out in Santa Clara when he was a kid – and he used to always yell, ‘Joey, keep the faith.’
“And my grandmother would yell – she’d yell back, ‘no, Joey, spread it.’ Let’s spread the faith and get this done.”