During the third democratic debate, Secretary Hillary Clinton said she would “fix some of the glitches” in the Affordable Care Act. Here is the entire exchange:
RADDATZ: And we’re going to move on to health care.
Secretary Clinton, the Department of Health and Human Services says more than 17 million Americans who are not insured now have health coverage because of Obamacare. But for Americans who already had health insurance the cost has gone up 27 percent in the last five years while deductibles are up 67 percent, health care costs are rising faster than many Americans can manage.
What’s broken in Obamacare that needs to be fixed right now? And what would you do to fix it?
CLINTON: Well, I would certainly build on the successes of the Affordable Care Act and work to fix some of the glitches that you just referenced.
Number one, we do have more people who have access to health care. We have ended the terrible situation that people with pre- existing conditions were faced with where they couldn’t find at any affordable price health care.
Women are not charged more than men any longer for our health insurance. And we keep young people on our policies until they turn 26.
Those are all really positive developments. But out-of-pocket costs have gone up too much and prescription drug costs have gone through the roof. And so what I have proposed, number one, is a $5,000 tax credit to help people who have very large out-of-pocket costs be able to afford those.
Number two, I want Medicare to be able to negotiate for lower drug prices just like they negotiate with other countries’ health systems.
We end up paying the highest prices in the world. And I want us to be absolutely clear about making sure the insurance companies in the private employer policy arena as well as in the Affordable Care exchanges are properly regulated so that we are not being gamed.
And I think that’s an important point to make because I’m going through and analyzing the points you were making, Martha. We don’t have enough competition and we don’t have enough oversight of what the insurance companies are charging everybody right now.
RADDATZ: But you did say those were glitches.
RADDATZ: Just glitches?
CLINTON: Well, they’re glitches because…
RADDATZ: Twenty-seven percent in the last five years, deductibles up 67 percent?
CLINTON: It is. Because part of this is the startup challenges that this system is facing. We have fought, as Democrats, for decades to get a health care plan. I know. I’ve got the scars to show from the effort back in the early ’90s.
We want to build on it and fix it. And I’m confident we can do that. And it will have effects in the private market. And one of the reasons in some states why the percentage cost has gone up so much is because governors there would not extend Medicaid.
And so people are still going to get health care, thankfully, in emergency rooms, in hospitals. Those costs are then added to the overall cost, which does increase the insurance premiums for people in the private system.
There was no discussion of the Supreme Court.