HEALTH CARE

The ACA was a good start. With its passage, Congress attempted to make health insurance affordable, expand Medicaid to cover low-income Americans, and support medical care delivery to lower the cost of health care. Since the inception of the ACA, Republicans have tried nonstop to repeal the ACA. Despite unsuccessful attempts, Congressional Republicans have chiseled away, leaving the ACA on life support while Americans continue to struggle to pay the rising cost of insurance premiums.
Florida has a large Medicaid population, more than 4.2 million as of May 2018. However, a family’s income must be quite low to qualify for the program. Unfortunately, certain politicians care more about keeping their party happy and falling inline, leaving 384,000 Florida residents uninsured.
To ensure all Americans have affordable and quality healthcare when elected, I will:

  1. Provide a public option for those Americans who reside in states without Medicaid expansion
  2. Reduce the required age for Medicare to 60 years of age
  3. Increase tax credits for Americans buying healthcare insurance on the ACA exchange
  4. Include an option for Americans to keep their current insurance through private insurance providers.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Historical increases in prescription drug prices are contributing to unsustainable health care costs in the United States. While individual politicians sponsor bills to lower drug costs through competition, they are not addressing the root cause of why Americans pay the exorbitant price of drugs.


Several factors can impact drug pricing, such as costs of research and development, the amount of competition in the marketplace. Other causes include:

  1. Direct to consumer advertising
  2. Lack of transparency
  3. US free pricing system
  4. Ban on federal negotiation of drug prices

To lower drug cost when elected, I will:

  1. Allow US Department of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate prices with drug producers and suppliers.
  2. Enforce “Pay-for-delay” (drug makers sidestep competition by offering patent settlements that pay generic companies not to bring lower cost to the market. This practice effectively block all other generic drug competition for a growing number of branded drugs).
  3. Private insurers and benefit managers reach their deals with drug companies, and the public is left in the dark when it comes to the details of those deals. For Americans to have full transparency, I will pass a bill requiring full disclosure of information from insurance plans about the average net prices paid for prescription drugs, including patients cost-sharing among plans and price increases.
  4. Stop Evergreening. Evergreening is drug makers add on new patents to prolong a drug’s exclusivity even when the additions aren’t fundamentally new, non-obvious, and useful as the law requires. By fixing the abuse in the patent system, we will be able to control drug costs.

References:

  1. United States Patent and Trademark Office
  2. I-Mak Solving the drug patent problem