Steyer’s public option breaks the stranglehold pharmaceutical, insurance and health care companies have over American public and guarantees coverage for disenfranchised, vulnerable communities
(SAN FRANCISCO, November 18, 2019) — Today, presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination Tom Steyer announced his Right to Health plan to build a sustainable health care system that invests in the health and future of every American.
Costs are simply too high, and predatory drug companies, insurance providers, and hospitals squeeze every last dollar to profit from the system. As these corporations put profits over people, politicians in Washington do nothing to help the hardworking families whose budgets — and health — are being held hostage. Steyer recognizes it is long past time we break the corporate stranglehold on our healthcare system and provide affordable, accessible health care for all who want it.
A fundamental American precept is that everyone deserves a choice — especially when it comes to health. Tom’s plan protects people’s ability to choose their health care coverage by offering a more affordable, competitive public option.
About 155 million people living in the U.S. receive quality health care through their employers — and they deserve the right to choose whether to keep it. A public option program that people can opt-in to will make insurers responsive to a functioning and competitive marketplace. It will use its oversight and buying power to drive down costs, ensure a high-quality service from providers, and respect people’s ability to make their own health care decisions.
Many communities with unique health care needs have long been denied access to care. Steyer’s plan rights these wrongs by providing a full suite of health care services to tribal nations, women, LGBTQ, veterans, rural communities, people with disabilities, and communities of color.
Other major initiatives of Steyer’s plan include:
- Controlling the cost of premiums and deductibles, eliminating surprise bills and controlling prescription drug prices
- Expanding coverage for the most vulnerable Americans and increase affordability for the middle class
- Appointing officials within the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Trade Commission to enforce antitrust regulations and consumer protection laws
- Reducing the cost of prescription drugs by benchmarking their cost against international standards and then instituting a price cap.
- Enabling Americans to purchase FDA approved drugs from across international borders and advancing nationwide pricing transparency
It is time for patients and doctors — not the drug manufacturers or insurers — to be in charge of their health. With Steyer’s plan, the message to private insurers will be crystal clear: compete on cost and quality of care, or lose customers.