Middle Tennessee has renowned medical universities, a robust health-tech scene, and the lion's share of health-admin professionals. With our depth of knowledge, we should be leading the conversation on Universal Healthcare. A free, public option, paired with a robust and transparent private insurance market is the most cost-efficient way to bring world-class Universal Care to America.
Healthcare must be available to everybody, regardless of income. I support the creation of a free, public option in which the 28,566,000 currently uninsured Americans are automatically enrolled. Anyone can choose to leave their private plan for the public option at any time.
Our free public option would provide every American with access to dentists, doctors, therapists, specialists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, and any other medical professional. Taking a holistic approach to care is good for our health and good for our wallets. For example, putting a person on a regimen to prevent heart problems is more empathetic, and cheaper than paying for their heart attack. This is how you achieve healthcare rather than sickcare.
America pays more for prescriptions and procedures than any other country. In fact, medical costs are 145% higher in the U.S. compared to other wealthy nations. We can't hold a system accountable if we don't know the accounting. To confront this, we must have complete transparency in pricing and fix the underlying issues contributing to our extremely high healthcare costs. All providers, public and private, must have the ability to negotiate with pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare companies. The results of their negotiations will yield lower prices for drugs and services.
Drug companies have a strangle hold on our political system. Their lobbyist were so effective They are the only industry that we are not allowed to negotiate prices with. We must encourage robust investment in research and development while ensuring that life-saving drugs are priced according to realistic measures of cost, value, and return.
During my first year in office, I will introduce a simple bill that makes it illegal for medical debts to appear on your credit report.
We must update our IP laws (so drugs can't be perpetually patent protected) and ensure that life-saving products can be brought to market by competing companies, inevitably reducing prices.
Every drug that was approved by the FDA between 2010 and 2016 used baseline science that was funded by you (the American taxpayer) through the National Institutes of Health. We are seeing virtually no return on our investment. Instead, drug companies use publicly-funded science to develop drugs, then charge extreme premiums for those drugs to tax-payers. I will fight so that we can see benefits which justify our costs.