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 chisel 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. The chart to your left depicts Florida residents support for Medicaid expansion. Unfortunately certain politicans 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 subsidies 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

Historic increases in prescription drug prices are contributing to unsustainable heath care costs in the United States. While certain politicians sponsor bills to lower drug costs through competition, they are not addressing the root cause on why Americans pay exorbitant cost of drugs.

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

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

In order 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 own deals with drug companies and the public is left in the dark when it comes to the details of those deals. In order for Americans to have full transparancy I will pass a bill requiring full disclosure of information from insurance plans about the average net prices paid for prescrition drugs, including patients cost sharing amoung plans and price increases.
  4. Stop Evergreening. Evergreening is drug makers add on new patents to prolong a drugs 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 cost.

References:

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

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