Presidential candidate Andrew Yang introduces health-care plan aimed at lowering costs, expanding coverage

GP: Andrew Yang Democratic Presidential Candidates Participate In Third Debate In Houston 1
Democratic presidential candidate former tech executive Andrew Yang speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University’s Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
TWin McNamee | Getty Images

Entrepreneur and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang released a health-care plan Monday morning that focuses on lowering costs and expanding coverage.

Yang denounced all the intraparty bickering over “Medicare for All,” the plan backed by Democratic progressive candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and less expansive plans backed by more moderate candidates.

“We are spending too much time fighting over the differences between Medicare for All, ‘Medicare for All Who Want It,’ and ACA expansion when we should be focusing on the biggest problems that are driving up costs and taking lives,” he said in the announcement posted on his website.

Instead, Yang said, plans should focus on lowering health-care costs.

He offered a six-prong approach to “tackling the root problems” of “our broken health-care system,” according to his webiste, that includes:

  • Lowering prescription drug prices
  • Investing in technology
  • Expanding health care in rural areas
  • Expanding mental health care
  • Offering flexibility to providers
  • Diminishing the influence of lobbyists

To lower prescription medication costs, Yang plans to give his administration the authority to “negotiate drug prices and use standard international price reference points,” which would pressure pharmaceutical companies.

The entrepreneur also wants to integrate mental health checkups into primary care and to bring down the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment.

Large parts of his plan are also devoted to expanding health-care coverage in rural areas by investing in technology that allows for patients to receive services in places where doctors aren’t abundant. He will push for licensing laws that allow doctors to treat patients in multiple states.

“We should invest in expanding existing technologies to reach those in underserved areas,” Yang said, “especially the 77% of rural counties that are considered rural primary care deserts, 9% of which have no physicians at all.”

Yang also addresses the influence of large lobbying groups in politics. He will “raise the salaries of government officials and bar them from transitioning into the private sectors that they regulated” to “prevent the influence of industry lobbyists in my administration.”

Yang last week became the final person to qualify for the upcoming debate on Thursday, the last one of the year. He will stand as the only person of color amid what was once a crowded field with the greatest diversity of candidates ever running for president.

He’s consistently hovered between 3% and 5% support in national polls.

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