We’re spending 10% of our income on health insurance, and the cost of prescription drugs is outrageous. It’s pure greed! When you consider that the majority of people over 50 are taking some kind of prescription drug, like blood pressure medication, you have to wonder what big Pharma has over Washington.
Our health care problems are real. More than 27 million people are uninsured which means they’re not getting necessary treatments because they can’t afford them. Uninsured people can’t afford basic preventive services and are more likely to forego care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Think about the costs of NOT getting early cancer screenings or cholesterol checks! Another 87 million people are underinsured, which means high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that could force them to choose between rent and health care. A lot of us just decide skip it altogether.
I will be proud to cosponsor and pass the House bill H.R.1384, commonly known as Medicare for All, because it is the most cost effective solution to fixing our broken system.
Medicare for All Would:
Medicare for All Would Not
A lot of seniors are Medicare Part D enrollees, but there’s no hard cap on out-of-pocket spending, which makes many people choose between their prescriptions and their electric bill. And there’s no incentive for Part D plan sponsors to control high drug costs. These problems are not rocket science. We can fix them. I support:
· Stopping the rising cost of prescription medication;
· Comparing drug prices in other countries to the price of the same drugs in the U.S. to determining pricing for drugs in the U.S.;
· Allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs;
· Incentivizing private insurers to compete on price and bring down costs
· Requiring bigPharma to pay a rebate to the federal government when their drug prices increase faster than inflation;
· Shifting more coverage costs to Part D plans and drug manufacturers for responsibility catastrophic coverage;
· Authorizing imported prescription drugs;
· Increasing premium subsidies for low-income people
· Vigilant monitoring and screening for excessive price increases by drug companies;
· Establishing oversight boards to set the prices states will pay for drugs;
· Investing in telehealth, which would allow virtual visits; and
· Ending “gotcha” surprise bills from third party providers whose services are billed as out of network, gauging the patient for profit.
Our national addiction to opioids— prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids including fentanyl-remains a national crisis. In 2018 over 125 people a day overdosed on opioids in the US. It’s clear that opioids represent a public health concern, and affects our country’s social and economic welfare. The CDC estimates the total economic cost in the US of prescription opioid misuse is $78.5 billion a year, considering the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction therapies, treatment centers, and criminal justice.
To help overcome the opioid crisis, I support:
1.) Public education programs to remove the stigma associated with substance addiction.
2.) Increased funding to increase accessible / free opioid reversal kits (also known as narcan/nalxone)
3.) Increased evidence-based treatment
4.) Measures to reduce the harm from addiction including needle exchanges, expanded treatment referrals, education, and increased narcan access.
5.) Criminal justice reform. Aside from legalizing marijuana, I do not believe non-violent offenders should be in prison; my brother came out of prison addicted to heroin. For people who are convicted and serve time, they must be able to maintain their medically assisted treatment modalities to remain drug free while they are incarcerated; I also support a transitional program for when they are released so that they have an opportunity to stay clean.
*People who need pain medication for chronic pain due to accident, painful disease such as cancer, or pain resulting from trauma, should receive medications, as prescribed to reduce pain. I do not support current efforts to withhold these medications from chronic pain patients who need them.
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Indiana's Democratic Primary is June 2nd, 2020
Vote for Sabrina Haake for United States Congress
Indiana's First Congressional District
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