We asked presidential candidates questions about a variety of issues facing the country. Their answers will be published over the coming weeks. This is what Democratic candidate Amy Klobuchar had to say about health care.
Is more funding needed for mental health care in America? If yes, what amount and how should it be allocated? Where should that money come from?
Senator Klobuchar released a $100 billion plan to combat substance use disorders and prioritize mental health, including expanding access to treatment, launching new suicide prevention initiatives, and enforcing mental health parity laws. To pay for her plan, she will hold opioid manufacturers responsible for their role in the opioid crisis, including by placing a 2 cent fee on each milligram of active opioid ingredient in a prescription pain pill and crafting a federal Master Settlement Agreement that provides money directly to the states for the cost of addiction treatment and social services.
How would you address rising prescription drug costs, specifically for medications that are necessary for people to live, such as insulin and mental health medications?
Senator Klobuchar believes that when people are sick, their focus should be on getting better, rather than on how they can afford their prescriptions. Yet drug prices are an increasing burden across our country. That’s why she has been a champion when it comes to tackling the high costs of prescription drugs. She has authored proposals to lift the ban on Medicare negotiations for prescription drugs, allow personal importation of safe drugs from countries like Canada, and stop pharmaceutical companies from blocking less-expensive generics.
What do you believe is the biggest health care issue facing Americans? How would you solve it?
Senator Klobuchar believes that we must bring down costs to make health care affordable for all Americans. She will improve the Affordable Care Act and help bring down costs for consumers by putting a non-profit public option in place, expanding premium subsidies and providing cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket health care costs like copays and deductibles. She will also tackle the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, including by lifting the ban on Medicare negotiations for prescription drugs, allowing personal importation of safe drugs from countries like Canada and stopping pharmaceutical companies from blocking less-expensive generics.
Do you support a public health insurance option for all Americans? If yes, do you support the elimination of private health care in favor of a government-run plan, or do you support an option where Americans can choose a public or private plan? If no, why?
Senator Klobuchar supports bringing down the cost of health care for everyone by putting a non-profit public option in place that allows people to buy into affordable health insurance coverage through Medicare or Medicaid. She does not support kicking 149 million Americans off their current insurance in four years.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar shares views on current issues