If elected President, Medicare for All will only become law if both the US House of Representatives and the Senate pass Medicare for All legislation. If that does not happen, Presidents can use their executive powers to improve access to health care. Margot Sanger-Katz reports for the New York Times on how Elizabeth Warren says she would use that power.
Warren‘s first priority is limiting corporate influence over Congress. That takes legislation. She says she would pursue anti-corruption reforms against health insurers and pharmaceutical companies. She wants to tax “excessive lobbying” by these companies and restrict their ability to effectively bribe members of Congress through campaign contributions. She would also use her power to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
With her executive authority, Warren would undo many of President Trump’s executive actions on health care. She would strengthen the Affordable Care Act and she would expand premium tax credits to help people buy insurance coverage. She would restore funding to Planned Parenthood. She would end work requirements for people with Medicaid. And, she would limit corporate health insurance companies’ ability to sell health plans that do not cover all essential health benefits, “short-term health plans.”
People with health insurance would have greater benefits and protections. Warren would cover dental care for people with Medicare. And, states would have the ability to expand Medicaid coverage. Warren would also expand mental health and substance abuse coverage.
Warren would give more people help to pay for their health insurance, such as families of working people and legal immigrants who are not citizens. Transgender people and women who had had abortions would regain civil rights protections.
To lower the cost of prescription drugs, Warren would use her executive authority to have HHS cancel pharmaceutical company patents on drugs developed with government funding. And, in the case of public health emergencies, she would use federal authority to have the government manufacture some prescription drugs, including insulin, antibiotics and hepatitis C medicines.
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