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Election revolves around healthy choices

“It is nothing short of cruel to fail to offer every American a basic level of health care,” said Tracy Mitrano, District 23’s 2020 congressional candidate.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) began to do just that. Upon its passage more than 20 million American gained access to affordable healthcare. Now this encouraging progress has been reversed under the attacks from the Trump Administration and Republican congressmen and women, including Tom Reed, whose careers depend on big health-care corporations that prey on the American public. Reed has received $148,635 in campaign contributions from the insurance industry. (Opensecrets Center for Responsive Politics)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president with support from congressmen and women like Mitrano, will revive and improve upon the Affordable Care Act.

Here are some of the highlights of Biden’s health-care Plan

¯ Affordable effective health insurance — ACA has provided primarily low income Americans with affordable health-care insurance. With Biden’s plan all Americans will have a choice to purchase an affordable federal public option health insurance plan or insurance in the individual market which because of competition from the public option should also be affordable. All insurance plans will be required to provide the essential benefit outlined in the ACA. In addition the tax credits which help Americans pay for insurance will be increased and the present income cap on eligibility for those credits will be removed.

¯ Quality health care — The Biden administration will partner with health-care workers and accelerate the testing and deployment of innovative solutions that improve the quality of health care.

¯ Medicare and Medicaid expansion — The Medicare eligibility age will drop from 65 to 60. Medicaid eligibility under federal control will become universal instead of allowing each state to determine Medicaid eligibility resulting in some states, for political reasons, excluding too many deserving citizens from receiving Medicaid.

¯ Healthcare industry reform — Biden intends to use existing anti-trust authority to go after the powerful monopolistic healthcare industry which, without free market competition, has been driving up health care costs.

Regarding fair drug prices:

¯ The Biden administration will repeal the exception that allows pharmaceutical corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare.

¯ A Health and Human Services review board will determine fair market prices for new drugs that face no competition in the free market.

¯ Price increases on existing drugs will be limited to the general inflation rate.

¯ Consumers will be allowed to purchase drugs that have been certified by the Department of Health and Human Services from other countries.

¯ Pharmaceutical corporations will no longer be able to deduct their advertising expense from their taxes

¯ The transition of expensive brand name drugs to less expensive generic drugs will be accelerated.

The COVID-19 epidemic is not over yet. Now more than ever every American deserves Biden’s healthcare plan, one that delivers a basic level of healthcare without the cruel effects of a healthcare system dictated by the corporate interests that Trump and Reed serve.

Chautauqua Cattaraugus Women’s Action Group is one of the many groups of honest, concerned citizens that working to elect Biden and Mitrano.

Be a part of this effort so that you and everyone can receive affordable basic health care.

Christine Nelson-Scherman is a Conewango Valley resident.

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