Health Care: A Hot Topic

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Healthsick-dollar

Health care will always be a hot topic in presidential campaigns because it affects every person, every day. As we approach the U.S. election in November 2016, more and more voters will be turning their attention to changes in medical coverage and the increasingly high cost of prescriptions.

An article from NBC reports that more Americans than ever are using prescription medications, with almost 60 percent relying on drug categories associated with obesity, blood pressure and cholesterol regulation. With medication prices on the rise, and the number of people who require them growing, it is more important than ever to understand the presidential candidates’ platforms and how their health care proposals may affect millions of people.

Our current Presidential candidates’ positions on prescription drug affordability are as follows:

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said she would “promote competition and leverage our nation’s bargaining power to lower drug costs on behalf of Americans” by:

  • getting more generic drugs on the market 
  • capping out-of-pocket costs for consumers 
  • denying subsidies for direct-to-consumers drug advertising
  • creating a “federal backstop” for expensive drugs that have no competition

Republican nominee Donald Trump’s plan to rein in prescription drug costs have surprisingly similar goals to his opponent’s, and include:

  • increasing competition between prescription drug manufacturers 
  • permitting Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower prices 
  • allowing Americans to purchase prescription drugs from other countries, stating that Congress should “remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products.”

No matter what the outcome is of the future election, unfortunately, we believe that the trend in the rise of drug prices will most likely continue. At Watertree Health it is our goal to help relieve some of the financial burdens associated with prescriptions.

Originally published November 15, 2015. Updated on October 25, 2016.

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