Los Angeles County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Health Care.

By Richard Melendez

Candidate for State Senator; District 29

This information is provided by the candidate
Adressing the issue of healthcare should begin where the need is most acute, with working Californians who are uninsured or underinsured because they are self-employed or who work for small companies.
A good start would be to give a hefty tax credit to small businesses that buy health insurance for workers through purchasing coalitions. That reform is key in California, for the state remains dead last nationally in the percentage of residents who have job-based insurance. Let more people above the poverty line buy federally supported state coverage. Expand coverage for children. Create a new perscription drug benefit. An issue of importance is the price of prescription drugs. Specific drugs cost more in the U.S. than abroad, and domestic prices often seem set by flat rate rather than the free market. Eliminate barriers that encorage price fixing, add a basic drug benefit and use the government's power as a group buyer to leverage down prices. Prescription drug spending has been one of the fastest growing componets of health care.
  • High costs, various restriction, seniors sometimes are forced to choose between medicine and food.
  • Encourage price competition by requiring pharmacies to post prices.
  • Develop pharmaceutical assistance programs for near-poor elderly persons and persons with disabilities.
  • Continue to investigate high rising cost of generic medications.

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ca/state Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 13, 2000 16:07
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