2020 election: Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker shares his views on current issues

2020 election: Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker shares his views on current issues
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker.

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 Cory Booker 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?

Absolutely. I am a co-sponsor of Medicare for All, which would ensure that everyone who needs mental health care is able to get it, with universal access to mental health professionals. I will also ensure that school systems and universities have the resources they need to implement effective treatment, as well as evidence-based suicide prevention plans and practices. We also need to eliminate the stigma around mental health. As president, I will direct my HHS Secretary to launch a campaign focused on combating the mental health stigma and ensure that adequate resources are provided to mental health care in America.

Read what the other candidates have to say here. 

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?

Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone in the world, about $1,200 a person on average. We need to take immediate action to lower the cost of prescription drugs. That starts with allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices and import drugs from Canada and other countries. I would also take on the drug companies that profiteer off people’s pain, including by taking patents away from companies that sell the same medication for less in other countries and by imposing a tax on companies that excessively raise the prices of their drugs.

What do you believe is the biggest health care issue facing Americans? How would you solve it?

No American should be forced to choose between groceries and prescription drugs, between paying their rent and seeing a doctor. Health care is a human right. I believe Medicare for All is the most efficient way to get to quality, affordable health care for every American. But I also know that we can’t wait to take action to increase access and improve affordability. That’s why as president, on the path to Medicare for All, I would take action to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, drive down drug prices, and introduce real competition to lower costs and improve outcomes.

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?

Our health care system is broken. We pay more for health care than any other wealthy country and see worse outcomes by many measures. I believe that health care is a human right, and believe the path to Medicare for All — my ideal — starts with strengthening the ACA, reducing drug prices, and providing a public option to ensure guaranteed, affordable health care for every American. Other countries with government guaranteed health care have allowed citizens to purchase private insurance, and I believe we can achieve universal coverage while retaining choice and private insurance options for Americans.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker shares views on current issues