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Statement from Rep. DeFazio on Medicare for All Act and Lowering Healthcare Costs

Feb 27, 2019
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio today released the following statement on the Medicare for All Act and lowering healthcare costs: 

"Today, House Democrats introduced the Medicare for All Act, legislation to create a single payer universal healthcare system. I am a cosponsor of this legislation, and a member of the Medicare for All Caucus. If we want to increase access to affordable care, lower insurance premiums, and cut prescription drug costs, we need to explore all available options.

"Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dramatically reduced the number of uninsured individuals, it has been in great need of improvement since day one. The bill that passed the House was far superior, with national exchanges and a government not-for profit option. In my opinion, a government-run, not-for-profit health plan would have paved the way to a single-payer system with more comprehensive coverage at a lower cost. This week, I am introducing legislation that would establish such a plan and bring down premium costs.

"I am also introducing bipartisan legislation to address anticompetitive behavior by the health insurance industry by repealing an antiquated exemption that allows the industry to operate beyond the reach of federal antitrust laws. It is long past time to protect consumers and end this out-of-date, unfair exemption from antitrust laws.

"Finally, I will keep fighting to address the prohibitive cost of prescription drugs. I am an original cosponsor of legislation that would allow the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices, require pharmaceutical companies to charge similar prices in the United States as they do other nations, and expand access to critical medications. I will continue to fight back against pharmaceutical companies for their outrageous price gouging of working Americans.

"The costs of healthcare in the United States are untenable. I remain committed to exploring all available avenues to ensure consumers have accessible, affordable healthcare."