How do the Democratic 2020 candidates differ on healthcare?

How do the Democratic 2020 candidates differ on healthcare?

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the candidate most closely associated with Medicare for all. After all, as he likes to say, he “wrote the damn bill!”

Sanders’ plan would do away with private insurance companies. Instead, his proposal would cover all residents, including those without legal status, under a government-run plan that would have no out-of-pocket costs for consumers except for prescription drugs. He has proposed financing the plan through a payroll tax on employers, higher income taxes on families making more than $29,000 per year and higher taxes on the wealthy.

The government would negotiate with drugmakers over prescription prices, and he would also allow patients, pharmacists and wholesalers to buy from Canada and other industrialized countries. To reduce costs, the Vermont senator wants to peg medication prices to the median drug price in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

He has taken a tough line on drug manufacturers, introducing legislation to prohibit illegal marketing and distribution of opioids and calling for criminal liability for drug company executives and for manufacturers to reimburse the country for the negative effects of their products.

To address shortages of healthcare providers, especially in the mental health fields, he wants to increase funding for the National Health Service Corps.

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