Hillary Clinton followed up on her tweeted vow
Monday to do something about price-gouging by pharmaceutical companies if she becomes president. As promised, she released her plan
to build on Obamacare and start bringing down the cost of prescription drugs.
The Democratic presidential candidate's proposal would place a monthly cap of $250 on covered out-of-pocket prescription drug costs to help patients with chronic or serious health conditions. It would also deny tax breaks for televised direct-to-consumer advertising and require drug companies that receive taxpayers' support to invest in research and development.
"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 at a campaign event Monday in Louisiana. […]
Clinton's campaign said a typical senior on Medicare spends more than $500 annually on out-of-pocket costs to buy prescription drugs and those with chronic health conditions or serious illnesses can spend thousands of dollars a year outside their coverage.
Her plan also, importantly, includes a proposal from her 2008 campaign to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. That's also one of Bernie Sanders' proposals for healthcare reform, and it's a smart one that should be a top priority not just for Democratic presidential candidates, but for congressional candidates as well. It should be one reform that's achievable, or would be if Republicans actually believed their rhetoric about cutting Medicare spending, because that's precisely what it would do.
Clinton's plan is actually pretty moderate, for all the panic it's caused in big PhRMA. For a lot of folks on fixed incomes, $250/month is still a pretty high cap, but it sure does beat the status quo. And speaking for the general television viewing audience, the idea of trying to reduce the number of ads about erectile disfunction is most welcome. But bringing back the ban on them would be even better.