Mike Levin on Healthcare Costs

Question #11 to Mike Levin, asked by Hope Hansen on behalf of Theories of Social Change, period 4.

“Given the ongoing price rises of health insurance, and the fact that medical bills continue to be one of the top causes of personal bankruptcy in the US, how do you plan to increase accessibility to affordable healthcare for all?”

So I mentioned the Inflation Reduction Act and the specific provisions that would expand the Affordable Care Act premiums, reduce premiums for another few years. That’s really important to provide quality and affordable healthcare. But also when you think about the real world impact of this, it will lock in lower healthcare premiums for thirteen million people, and the average savings would be $800 a year. So those are real savings. And also prescription drug provisions that I mentioned are critically important as well. So that’s what we have been doing. On the other side, what do they want to do? Repeal the Affordable Care Act. Drive up the cost of healthcare. Increase prescription drug prices. They want to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act that we just passed. And why is that? Well, it goes back to that same argument I made about the big oil companies and how they fund campaigns. So do a lot of the drug companies. And they want politicians that will do whatever they want them to do. When we were passing these prescription drug provisions, I had plenty of lobbyists come to me and my team and say, “Oh, you can’t do that, you’ll put all the companies out of business.” Right, they would say that. But then I’d have some of the executives themselves, I’d ask them, “Do you think that’s true?” And they said, “No, not true. We would be just fine.” So at the end of the day, it should open everybody’s eyes that there are more lobbyists for drug companies in Washington D.C. than there are members of Congress, probably by many times. So we just have to stand up for people again, rather than standing up for drug companies. Not to say drug companies are all bad, far from it. A lot of them are doing amazing things, lifesaving cures. We need them to succeed. But we can’t do everything that they want while the average person suffers.

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