2020 election: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shares his views on current issues

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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 Bernie Sanders 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?

Yes. We are experiencing a crisis in mental health treatment in this country. Bernie's Medicare for All plan would address this crisis by providing comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services as well as prescription drugs free at the time of service — no co-payments, premiums, deductibles, or surprise bills. By cutting unnecessary administrative costs, bringing down the outrageous prices of prescription medication, and ensuring large corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share, we can afford to guarantee quality health care to all people in the U.S.

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?

We pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. While about one out of five Americans cannot afford to pay for the medicine prescribed by their doctors,10 big drug companies made $69 billion in profits last year. Under Medicare for All, Bernie will stop the pharmaceutical industry from ripping off the American people by making sure that no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need by capping what Americans pay for prescription drugs.

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

America is the only major industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee health care as a human right. Thirty million Americans remain uninsured, millions more are underinsured, and profit-driven pharmaceutical and insurance companies fill the system with bloat for their own benefit at the expense of patients. Despite the groundswell of support from Democrats, Republicans, and independents for Medicare for All, insurance, drug, and hospital lobbyists have teamed up to protect their profits by pouring large sums of money into an attack campaign on a plan that would guarantee health care to all.

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?

Yes. Bernie is running for president because the time is long overdue for the United States to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare for All program. The goal of a health care system should be to keep people well, not to make stockholders rich. Bernie’s plan would provide comprehensive health coverage to all with no premiums, deductibles, copayments, or surprise bills, period.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders shares views on current issues