We must make health care more affordable and lower the cost of drug prices.
We must make healthcare more affordable and lower drug costs. By one calculation, a family in Rhode Island pays $26,000 for a decent health care plan! Spiraling health care costs are unacceptable and unaffordable for working Rhode Island families, seniors, and small businesses.
From day one, Washington insiders like Sen. Whitehouse handled healthcare policy poorly. Congress has failed to fix the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help to create a more affordable and accessible healthcare system. The ACA began with only Democrat votes, and repeated attempts to repeal and replace it with only Republican votes proved to be futile. Neither attempts were sound.
The ACA failed to reach its lofty goals as premiums skyrocketed and many of its provisions proved to be impractical, unaffordable for families and small businesses, and meddlesome. Consumers should be able to select a healthcare plan that addresses their needs. To make health more affordable, I will work together with both parties for reforms that include the following:
– Allow people to buy coverage across state lines, thereby increasing competition, breaking up health care monopolies, and thus lowering the cost of health care plans.
– Require pricing transparency for the costs of radiologic and other diagnostic procedures.
– Permit trade and other industry and business associations to provide less costly health care plans to their members.
– Encourage the use of health care savings accounts.
– Enact medical malpractice reforms.
– While these reforms will help restore affordability, all plans must cover pre-existing conditions with federal subsidies for those who cannot afford the coverage. Medicaid expansion will place stress on overburdened state budgets. This problem can be mitigated if states are given the flexibility to more efficiently serve Medicaid recipients.
The challenge is to reform the ACA with a patient-centered system that offers quality affordable care without pulling the rug out from under Americans who rely on the ACA.
Another part of the solution to health care costs is to lower the outrageous cost of drug prices. Prescription drug prices are increasing at an unmanageable pace for American families. Our country has the most expensive drug prices in the world. I have met too many Rhode Island families who are buckling under the ridiculous and unaffordable cost of drug prices. We must lower the cost of drug prices immediately.
As Rhode Island’s next U.S. Senator, I will support a “Drugs Affordability Act” that will accomplish the following:
– Control prescription drug price increases by creating an enforcement mechanism to identify drugs that have unreasonable price increases and impose penalties on their manufacturers.
-Permit Medicare Part D to negotiate drug prices to leverage federal purchasing power, crack down on price gouging, and restrain the growth in prescription prices with justification required for substantial price increases.
– Require transparency in drug pricing by requiring manufacturers to publicly disclose significant price increases, e.g., over 100% annually.
We need a practical problem solver in Washington D.C. who represents the needs of Rhode Islanders, starting with affordable health care and lowering prescription drug prices.