Democratic debate: Clinton calls out group health
Dec 21, 2015 | By Allison Bell
Hillary Clinton hinted that she might have a group health proposal in the works Saturday during a Democratic primary presidential debate, which aired on ABC.
Clinton mentioned group health briefly, when Martha Raddatz, a debate co-moderator, noted that health insurance costs continue to climb, then asked her to talk about what she thinks is broken in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and what she would do to fix it.
“We don’t have enough competition, and we don’t have enough oversight of what the insurance companies are charging everybody right now,” Clinton said. “I want us to be absolutely clear about making sure the insurance companies in the private employer policy arena as well as in the Affordable Care Act exchanges are properly regulated, so that we aren’t being gamed.”
Clinton said she also wants to give Medicare the authority to negotiate for lower drug prices and to create a $5,000 tax credit to help people pay out-of-pocket health care costs.
Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s leading contender for the Democratic nomination, said that the current U.S. health care system is too expensive.
“The insurance companies, the drug companies, are bribing the United States Congress,” Sanders said. “We need to pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system. It will lower the cost of health care for a middle-class family by thousands of dollars a year.”
Raddatz asked Sanders how much families would pay in premiums or taxes for the single-payer coverage.
“I can tell you that, adding up the fact that you’re not paying for any private insurance, and businesses are not paying for any private insurance, the average middle-class family will be saving thousands of dollars a year,” Sanders said.
Clinton said she has looked at Sanders’ health care proposal. “It really does transfer every bit of our health care system, including private health care, to the states to have the states run it,” she said. “And I think we’ve got to be really thoughtful about how we’re going to afford what we proposed, which is why I will tell you exactly how I’m going to pay for everything that I’ve proposed.”