California senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced a plan she says will lower prescription drug costs and crack down on pharmaceutical companies for charging exorbitant prices. Under the proposal, the government would be able to set fair prices for drugs based on their costs in other markets, and more affordable drugs could be imported from other countries. Manufacturers would suffer penalties if they raise their prices excessively, and 100% of their profits would also be taxed if they prescribe a medication above a set price.
Earlier in the week, 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden announced his healthcare plan, which builds on Obamacare by adding a public option, rather than supporting Medicare for all, like many of his more progressive primary opponents, including Senators Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Biden’s plan would also allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower costs and expand Medicaid. Biden’s proposal says it would insure “an estimated 97% of Americans,” to which the Sanders campaign responded, “[That] leaves nearly 10 million people uninsured.” It would also leave tens of millions underinsured and saddled with high copays and deductibles, according to an analysis of the proposal by the Sanders campaign.