Our healthcare system is broken. While the Affordable Care Act has made incredible advances, it still has gaps in coverage and hasn’t fundamentally altered the cost of insurance or care for Iowans. That’s why I propose an expansion of the Affordable Care Act to include the following:
Strengthening & Expanding Medicare: Americans between the age of 55 and 64 are struggling in today’s economy. The cost of insurance is rising and employers struggle to afford insurance plans that cover an aging workforce. This is why we need to strengthen the current Medicare system and expand it to cover everyone 55 years of age and older. According to Richard Vague in The Hill, “For many others, it will be cheaper or better coverage than their employer now provides. Most importantly, for employer-provided plans, Medicare at 55 will take on the highest-cost participants, and businesses will be left with younger and healthier participants and therefore better able to hold premiums and deductibles flat — if not reduce them.”
Medicare for All Who Want It: For those under the age of 55 we need to reform the Affordable Care Act to include a real public option. Medicare will be made available as a purchase option for everyone between the ages of 18-55 under the Affordable Care Act. Medicare for All would be subsidized on a sliding scale for everyone with a household income of up to $40,500/year (individual) or $81,000/year (filing jointly). The cost of health insurance should never be a barrier to someone accessing the middle-class.
Lowering Prescription Drug Prices: Under the Mauro Plan, Medicare would be allowed to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices. In addition, the importation of pharmaceuticals from Canada will be allowed.
Ending Medicaid Privatization: Privatization of Medicaid has been an absolute disaster. Leaving the most vulnerable in society at the mercy of big insurance companies and profit/loss statements. I will call for immediate hearings on the history of Medicaid privatization in Iowa, and nationally, while expanding oversight of waiver programs that have been granted to states “experimenting” on their residents with the expansion of Medicaid with private insurance providers. Finally, upon completion of hearings, we will begin a process of rolling back Medicaid privatization and creating a new, modern and cost-efficient infrastructure to better deliver Medicaid to populations that qualify.