Healthcare Reform

The individual health insurance marketplace needs to be fixed, but the healthcare bill passed by the Republican House of Representatives in 2017 would be a disaster for America.  The bill would strip $1.1 trillion dollars for Medicaid and low income premium support programs over 10 years.  In Virginia, 88% of all Medicaid spending went towards the elderly (over 65 living in nursing homes), disabled, and children.  The CBO concluded that the House bill would result in 14 million fewer people with health insurance in 2018 and 23 million by 2026. The House bill would also allow a reduction in mandatory services provided by plans and allow pricing of premiums based on one’s health status…. i.e., those with pre-existing conditions would pay more or could be priced out of the market completely.

Tom opposes the House bill and instead proposes a public option for the individual health insurance marketplace. This approach would provide a portable, comprehensive solution to the problems created by the lack of competition in a given city, state, or region. Tom also supports a national standard of essential benefits.

Tom favors polices that would give US taxpayers more negotiating power and transparency when dealing with drug companies and drug prices. Prescription drug costs are becoming an ever-increasing share of healthcare costs. While drug companies need economic incentive to create new drugs, the US is currenting paying a disproportionate share of the cost of these drugs compared to the rest of the industrialized countries with drug prices in the US often significantly higher than in other countries.

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