Hillary Clinton was slated Tuesday to unveil a plan to lower prescription drug costs, which would build on aspects of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s health care law. Clinton’s plan would change the way drug companies operate by requiring them to reinvest profits in research and by denying tax breaks for television advertising. It would also allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs, and aim to cap out-of-pocket expenses, helping people with serious and chronic health conditions.
As rising drug costs have become a major issue for consumers, Clinton has addressed high drug prices as part of her regular speech at recent campaign events in Louisiana, New Hampshire and Iowa. At a campaign event in Louisiana on Monday, Clinton said she would “crackdown on these expenses.” "We will start by capping how much you have to pay out of pocket for prescription drugs each month. And we're going to hold drug companies accountable as we work to drive down prices," Clinton said.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s plan, which she will announce at a community forum in Des Moines, Iowa, is part of a weeklong focus on health care. While Obama’s health care law has been controversial, particularly among Republicans, Clinton has said she fully supports it. Her proposed plan works with the existing law and adds her own stamp.
Her opponent for the presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is in favor of a single-payer health care system. He introduced legislation this month that would also allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and would allow Americans and resellers to import drugs from Canada, meaning cheaper costs for consumers.
A focus of Clinton's plan would require health insurance plans to limit out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to $250 per month for individuals. This could affect up to 1 million people, according to the Associated Press.
Clinton tweeted about drug prices on Monday, providing a brief peek at her plan when she said that “Price gouging like this in the drug market is outrageous.”
Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I'll lay out a plan to take it on. -H https://t.co/9Z0Aw7aI6h
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 21, 2015