Here is what Sen Sanders says:
First of all, less than 20% of Americans do not have health insurance. Very low income people on Medicaid have coverage. Those on Medicare have coverage with subsidies for low income beneficiaries. Obamacare mandates prescription coverage and also limits out of pocket costs each year.
He is right that many Americans report they cannot afford their medication or are “unable to afford” as Sanders says. But what does that actually mean? If you are buying several different items and one of them is a $30 co-payment for a prescription, which item do you think will be reported as unaffordable? The cable bill, the cell phone, going to the movies?
Isn’t it strange that we can add to premium costs by making affordable contraceptives free while at the same time we are concerned that life saving and life sustaining drugs are “unaffordable?”
There are those who claim that if we just negotiated drug prices all will be well. Allow Medicare to negotiate prices we are told. However, the fact is that pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies providing drug benefits including Medicare Part D already negotiate prices. Who knows what more could be done without affecting the costs for the non-Medicare population?
Never forget; the average American does not believe they should pay for health care. So when asked the question about affordability, any cost associated with health care is unlikely to be reported as affordable… everything else comes first.