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We hope she had a lovely, long holiday weekend with her grandkids and dogs. Hillary was back on Twitter today addressing the GOP Senators.  She responded to a tweet from the GOP.

That’s our girl!  She never cares about getting the credit for the work. She just cares that the work gets done.  She sent them, many are her former colleagues in the Senate,  her health care plan from her campaign website. If she were still in the Senate, she would be encouraging them to work cooperatvely with her on this.  Since she is not, she presented them with her plan for their use. Well done, Hillary! Thank you.  We hope they accept your offering in kind and save health care for Americans.

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Hillary Clinton was super active today on the subject of the now withdrawn AHCA, an attempt by Republicans to repeal President Obama’s ACA and replace it.

Today was a victory for all Americans.

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Hillary Clinton Announces Aggressive New Plan to Respond to Unjustified Price Hikes for EpiPens and other Long-Available Treatments

Today Hillary Clinton is announcing a new plan to protect Americans from unjustified price hikes of long-available prescription drugs with limited competition, like EpiPens and pyrimethamine, the drug for a disease related to AIDS that Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of by more than 5,000%.  After speaking out against excessive prices for prescription drugs throughout the campaign and, last week, calling for Mylan to lower its EpiPen price, Clinton believes that Mylan’s recent actions have not gone far enough to remedy their outrageous price increase. Looking at Kombiglyze lawsuit as precedence the decision was made. So today, Clinton is proposing a new set of strong tools that will let the government take effective action in such cases where public health is put at risk by an unjustified, outlier price increase for a treatment long available on the market with limited competition.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen far too many examples of drug companies raising prices excessively for long-standing, life-saving treatments with little or no new innovation or R&D,” Clinton said. “It’s time to move beyond talking about these price hikes and start acting to address them. All Americans deserve full access to the medications they need — without being burdened by excessive, unjustified costs. Our pharmaceutical and biotech industries are an incredible source of American innovation and revolutionary treatments for debilitating diseases. But I’m ready to hold drug companies accountable when they try to put profits ahead of patients, instead of back into research and innovation.”

Today, building off the comprehensive plan she offered earlier in the campaign last year, Clinton is calling for action to protect consumers from unjustified prescription drug price increases by companies that are marketing long-standing, life-saving treatments and face little or no competition, she wants more companies to start working with someone like phoenix seo expert to be able to deliver what people are looking for. She’ll start by convening representatives of Federal agencies charged with ensuring health and safety, as well as fair competition, to create a dedicated group charged with protecting consumers from outlier price increases. They will determine an unjustified, outlier price increase based on specific criteria including: 1) the trajectory of the price increase; 2) the cost of production; and 3) the relative value to patients,among other factors that give rise to threatening public health.

Should an excessive, outlier price increase be determined for a long-standing treatment, Clinton’s plan would make new enforcement tools available including:

  • Making alternatives available and increasing competition: Directly intervening to make treatments available, and supporting alternative manufacturers that enter the market and increase competition, to bring down prices and spur innovation in new treatments.
  • Emergency importation of safe treatments: Broadening access to safe, high-quality alternatives through emergency importation from developed countries with strong safety standards.
  • Penalties for unjustified price increase to hold drug companies accountable and fund expanded access: Holding drug makers accountable for unjustified price increases with new penalties, such as fines – and using the funds or savings to expand access and competition.

Her plan will establish dedicated consumer oversight at our public health and competition agencies.  They will determine an unjustified, outlier price increase based on specific criteria including: 1) the trajectory of the price increase; 2) the cost of production; and 3) the relative value to patients, among other factors that give rise to threatening public health.

In combination with her broader plan – which addresses the costs facing consumers from both long-standing and patented drugs – these new tools to address price spikes for treatments available for many years will lower the burden of prescription drug costs for all Americans.

This plan would impact the many examples we’ve seen over the past year of drug companies raising prices excessively for drugs that have been available for years – from Turing raising the price of pyrimethamine for AIDS patients by over 5,500 percent, to Mylan raising the price of the EpiPen by more than 400 percent. This is not an isolated problem: Between 2008 and 2015, drug makers increased the prices of almost 400 generic drugs by over 1,000 percent. Many of these companies are an example of a troubling trend—manufacturers that do not even develop the drug themselves, but acquire it and raise the price.

The immediate protections she is offering today build on her broader plan to lower prescription drug costs for all Americans that she released last year.

The full fact sheet is available here.

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Hillary Clinton Releases New Comprehensive Mental Health Policy Agenda

Today Hillary Clinton announced her comprehensive plan to support Americans living with mental health problems and illnesses. Recognizing that nearly a fifth of all adults in the United States — more than 40 million people — are coping with a mental health problem, Hillary’s plan will integrate our mental and physical health care systems. Her goal is that within her time in office, Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment. Hillary has been talking about mental health policy throughout her campaign, since hearing directly from American parents, students, veterans, nurses, and police officers about how these challenges keep them up at night.

Hillary will convene a White House Conference on Mental Health during her first year as President. In addition, her comprehensive agenda on mental health will:

  • Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the “whole person,” and significantly enhance community-based treatment opportunities.Hillary’s plan will foster integration between the medical and behavioral health care systems (including mental health and addiction services), so that high-quality treatment for behavioral health is widely available in general health care settings. Hillary will expand reimbursement structures in Medicare and Medicaid for collaborative care by tasking the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to create and implement new such payment models.
  • Promote early diagnosis and intervention, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention. The overall rate of suicide increased by 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, and is now at its highest level in 30 years. Hillary will direct all relevant federal agencies, including Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Education, to research and develop plans for suicide prevention in their respective settings, and create a cross-government initiative headed by the Surgeon General to coordinate these efforts. She also believes we must redouble our efforts around early screening and intervention – and that means training pediatricians, teachers, school counselors, and other service providers throughout the public health system, to identify mental health problems at an early age and recommend appropriate support.
  • Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which Hillary co-sponsored, requires that mental health benefits under group health plans be equal to benefits for other medical conditions, and the Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans in the individual and small group markets to offer mental health coverage as an essential health benefit. But while the right laws are on the books, they are too often ignored or not enforced. As part of her commitment to fully enforcing the mental health parity law, Hillary will launch randomized audits to detect parity violations, and increase federal enforcement. She will also enforce disclosure requirements so that insurers cannot conceal their practices for denying mental health care and strengthen federal monitoring of health insurer compliance with network adequacy requirements.
  • Improve criminal justice outcomes by training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and prioritizing treatment over jail for low-level offenders. As many as 1 in every 10 police encounters may be with individuals with some type of mental health problem, and our county jails today house more individuals with mental illness than our state and local psychiatric hospitals. She will dedicate new resources to help train law enforcement officers in responding to conflicts involving persons with mental illness, and increase grant funding to support law enforcement partnerships with mental health professionals. She will alsoincrease investments in local programs such as specialized courts, drug courts, and veterans’ treatment courts, which send people to treatment and rehab instead of the criminal justice system, and direct the Attorney General to issue guidance to federal prosecutors, instructing them to prioritize treatment over incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenders. Finally, she will work to strengthen mental health services for incarcerated individuals and ensure continuity of care so that they get the treatment they need, which will improve outcomes for them after they reenter society and will reduce recidivism.
  • Improve access to housing and job opportunities. As president, Hillary will expand community-based housing opportunities for individuals with mental illness and other disabilities. Hillary will launch a joint initiative between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HHS to create supportive housing opportunities for thousands of people with mental illnesses and disabilities, who currently reside in or are at risk of entering institutional settings. The employment rate for people with serious mental illness is below 20 percent, even though many of these adults want to work and more than half could succeed with appropriate job supports. Hillary will work with private employers and state and local mental health authorities to share best practices around hiring and retaining individuals with mental health problems, and in adopting supported employment programs. She’ll also expand HHS’s “Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment” program, which already assists states and communities in providing supported jobs to people with mental illness.
  • Invest in brain and behavioral research and developing safe and effective treatments. Hillary believes we need a pioneering, multi-sector effort to transform our knowledge of this field—from mapping the human brain to generating new insights into what drives our behavior to investing in clinical and services research to understand the interventions that work best and how to deliver them to patients. As president, Hillary willsignificantly increase research into brain and behavioral science research. She will provide new funding for the National Institutes of Health; build on cross-collaborative basic research efforts like the BRAIN initiative; scale up critical investments in clinical, behavioral, and services research; and integrate research portfolios with pioneering work on conditions like PTSD and traumatic brain injury already underway at DoD, the VA, and HHS. She will develop new links with the private and non-profit sectors to ensure that federal government efforts are aligned with those of other sectors to ensure that progress occurs as quickly as possible. She will also commit to brain and behavioral science research based on open data.

The full comprehensive proposal is available on HillaryClinton.com here>>>>

Statements-Fact-sheets

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Ever since the ACA passed, Hillary has echoed over and over that it was a good first step, and we have to do more.  Other candidates in this election cycle have campaigned on a promise to repeal the ACA,  Hillary has vowed all along to improve, strengthen, and enhance it. Here is her commitment to the future of health care.

Hillary Clinton’s Commitment: Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care for Everyone in America

The Affordable Care Act was a critically important step toward the goal of universal health care, offering coverage to 20 million more Americans, and ensuring all Americans will never be denied coverage on account of a pre-existing condition or their gender. Today, 90 percent of all Americans have health insurance, the most in the history of our country.

Despite this progress, Hillary believes that we have more work to do to finish our long fight to provide universal, quality, affordable health care to everyone in America. This starts by strengthening, improving and building on the Affordable Care Act to cover more Americans.

First, Hillary will work with governors to expand Medicaid in every state, so that access to care no longer depends on where you live. It is a disgrace that 19 states have left 3 million Americans without health insurance because their states have refused to expand Medicaid. It is wrong that Republican governors and legislatures are leaving too many Americans without health insurance even though they qualify for coverage. Hillary will launch a national campaign to enroll people who are eligible but not already enrolled. She will expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status by allowing families to buy health insurance on the health Exchanges regardless of their immigration status.

Second, Hillary will get health care costs under control so that those who have health insurance can afford the health care they need. She will not stand for unjustified health premium increases – she will make sure the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to block or modify unreasonable health insurance premium rate increases so that coverage is more affordable. Hillary has comprehensive plans to address increasing out-of-pocket and prescription drug costs. She will cap prescription drug costs that people have to pay out of pocket, and limit excessive out-of-pocket costs for families. And Hillary will work on long-term solutions to reduce consumer costs of prescription drugs so that these drugs are affordable for all, while not stifling innovation that produces life-saving and life-extending scientific breakthroughs.

Third, consistent with her previous proposals on public options, Hillary will pursue efforts to give Americans in every state in the country the choice of a public-option insurance plan, and to expand Medicare by allowing people 55 years or older to opt in while protecting the traditional Medicare program.

Hillary has also laid out strategies to address a multitude of pressing health care challenges – from Alzheimer’s, to autism, mental health and substance abuse, to public health infrastructure and environmental health, to women’s health, all the way through Zika.

As we advance toward the goal of universal health care, Hillary believes we must do more to address the lack of access to primary health care, dental care, mental health care and affordable prescription drugs.

One critical component of establishing universal primary care is to expand our proven system of Federally Qualified Health Centers. Today, 25 million people in the United States get their care from these community health centers each year. We must significantly expand that coverage so that every American, regardless of where they live, has good quality primary health care available to them at a cost they can afford.

The Affordable Care act significantly expanded mandatory funding for FQHCs. As part of her comprehensive health care agenda, Hillary is committed to doubling the funding for primary care services at community health centers over the next decade. In doing so, we will dramatically expand access to millions more people. This means extending the current mandatory funding under the Affordable Care Act and expanding it by $40 billion over the next 10 years.

Hillary also supports President Obama’s call for a near tripling of the size of the National Health Service Corps, which will increase funding to $810 million in 2017 and grow over time to $1.3 billion by 2027.

These are good investments for patients and for taxpayers.  Today, community health centers save more than $1,200 per person per year. This is a savings to the overall health care system of $49 billion each year.  And by allowing people to access health care when they need it, we will avoid costly illnesses, hospital stays and trips to emergency rooms.  A healthier population also means fewer missed days of school and work. In sum, working toward providing universal primary care to all Americans by investing in community health centers will save billions in unnecessary health care spending.

Together these steps will get us closer to the day when everyone in America has access to quality, affordable health care.

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Hillary stepped off the campaign trail for awhile today, and into the charged situation in Flint, Michigan.  This morning on TV she spoke knowledgeably about the dangerous effects of lead poisoning as well as the structural challenges involved in making the pipelines safe again.  If any other candidate for president knows as much as Hillary does on this topic, that individual has been remarkably silent on the subject.

This was not a campaign stop.  Because of her knowledge on this topic, Hillary broke her campaign stride to see how she could help in this dire situation.

An audience member prays before an appearance by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

An audience member prays before an appearance by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with an audience member at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with an audience member at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a photograph at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a photograph at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets members of the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets members of the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds the hand of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver during a meeting with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds the hand of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver during a meeting with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) meets with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and local officials after speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) meets with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and local officials after speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) meets with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (L) and congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) after speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) meets with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (L) and congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) after speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Parishioners attending church service wait for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to address the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Parishioners attending church service wait for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to address the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks with a parishioner after addressing the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks with a parishioner after addressing the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

A parishioner is photographed with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after she addressed the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

A parishioner is photographed with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton after she addressed the congregation about the Flint water crisis at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, Michigan February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Kerry Nelson, left, Flint City Council President, motions to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., listens during a meeting with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Kerry Nelson, left, Flint City Council President, motions to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., listens during a meeting with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton meets with officials at the House Of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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Her policy on prescription price-gouging was anticipated, and a fact sheet was released long in advance of today’s speech.  Keystone XL  started trending on Twitter as soon as Hillary made the announcement that could wait no longer.

She gave the administration plenty of time to decide on this issue, but as was probably clear when she was in Baton Rouge yesterday, the folks in the gulf region really need an answer on Keystone XL as do all the folks in the proposed path of the nation-long construction.

As I said yesterday, any path takes it to the Gulf of Mexico and can pose potential danger to the gulf states.  Any path also brings it right through Iowa.  The answer could wait no longer for a White House entangled, as it says it is, in diplomatic snags with Canada.

So today, in Iowa, where lands could be so seriously impacted, Hillary Clinton broke her silence.

Time to invest in a clean energy future—not build a pipeline to carry our continent’s dirtiest fuel across the US. I oppose Keystone XL. -H

 

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts to an audience member during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts to an audience member during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton broke her longstanding silence over the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, telling voters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday that she opposes the project assailed by environmentalists. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with an audience member following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photo with an audience member following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks with audience members following a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthcare, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers questions from the audience following a speech in the gymnasium of Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers questions from the audience following a speech in the gymnasium of Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

The caption on this pic deserves a [sic].  How can they get this so wrong?

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in the gymnasium of Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in the gymnasium of Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa, September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

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 Transcript

At a community event in Des Moines, Iowa, Hillary shared her vision for how we can make the Affordable Care Act work for all Americans by bringing down out-of-pocket health care costs.

I’m delighted to be here. I want to thank Dionna for introducing me and congratulate her for now being a member of the Des Moines school board.

I want to also thank Eric Van Dorin, the principal of Moulton Elementary School, who is hosting us here, and his family.

I want to recognize Attorney General Tom Miller. Thank you so much for being here, Attorney General.

And we’re in the district of Ako Abdul-Samad, state representative. Thank you so much.

And we have a number of other elected officials here from Des Moines, from Pope County, and indeed from other places in the state.

I want to start by making some remarks, and then I want to have a chance to take questions, because I hope we will be able to cover one of the issues that I will start with that is so important about the rising cost of drugs, and we’ll be able to get to other questions that you have.

You know, I started this campaign with the firm conviction that we needed once again to renew the basic bargain in America. We needed to tell people and deliver on the promise that if you work hard and you do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead.

And for me I am very grateful that we came out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. I think the extraordinary burdens that families had to deal with, many of you went through it, combined with the leadership of President Obama, who does not get enough credit for getting us out of that financial ditch we were in, really puts us in a good position for the future, as long as we make the right decision about who should be in the White House come January 2017.

You know, corporate profits are near record highs, but most paychecks have barely budged. Costs for everything from child care to college are rising faster than wages.

So the centerpiece of my economic plan is to get incomes rising again, get more money in your paychecks, give the middle class a raise so that you can get back to planning for the future and providing for your children. So I’m laying out my approach toward this. And some of you I know, I’ve talked with, you’ve been following it.

But I also want you to know that I’m going to pay attention to those problems that also keep you up at night, the kinds of problems you talk about around the kitchen table.

As I’ve traveled across Iowa, I’ve heard from veterans who aren’t getting the health care they need and whose buddies aren’t either.

I’ve heard from teachers whose students come to school hungry, and don’t really have the attention to be able to learn.

I’ve heard from grandmothers whose own children are struggling with drug addiction, so they’re taking care of their grandchildren.

A few days ago in New Hampshire, I spoke with a man whose mother has Alzheimer’s. He can’t afford a full-time caregiver. He has to work. He doesn’t know what to do. So I’ll tell you what he does, he brings his 84-year-old mother to work with him so he can keep an eye on her.

These are the kinds of challenges that people are talking to me about. So I want to be the president who takes on those big issues in the headlines, what are we going to do about Syrian refugees, what are we going to do about climate change—we’ve got to get busy combating it—what are we going to do about the kind of challenges we face around the globe, but also those quieter problems.

And one area that I’ve heard so much about is what we will do to make sure that the Affordable Care Act works for everybody.

You may remember that when I was First Lady, I fought for health care reform. I believed then what I believe now, that every American deserves quality, affordable health care. It can mean the difference between a family being financially secure or going bankrupt. It can also literally be the difference between life and death.

And, you know, health care is a huge part of our economy. So we want to make sure that it’s helping us grow, not holding us back.

The health care battles of the ’90s were pretty brutal. At their time, the insurance companies and their allies in Congress blocked us from making the kind of comprehensive reform America needed.

But we kept at it. I worked with leaders on both sides of the aisle to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program that now covers 8 million children across the country, who get health care they need and deserve.

And I was thrilled to be a member of President Obama’s administration when he signed the Affordable Care Act into law.

And I am convinced that we are seeing the results. For the first time in 50 years, the rate of uninsured Americans has fallen below 10 percent. As of today, we know nearly 18 million people have gotten health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. And despite what you hear from the other side of the aisle, it has not bankrupted America. In fact, it is saving us money. Overall health care costs are going down.

But, you know, despite all the evidence, every single Republican candidate for President has vowed that, if elected, they’d get rid of the Affordable Care Act. And Republicans in Congress have already tried to do that. They have voted 54 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

I love it, because it reminds me of that old quote, you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, apparently they’re going to keep voting to repeal it. They’re living in what I like to call an “evidence-free zone.” It doesn’t matter what the facts are, they are partisan ideologues, and they’re going to keep trying to tear it up and force us back into a debate about health care.

Well, politics can be, unfortunately, a pretty cynical business, but this really goes further than I can tolerate. I don’t know what they would say to all the people who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. It’s given millions of families peace of mind. It protects millions of people with pre-existing conditions. It says women cannot be charged more for health care just because we are women. And it lets young people stay on your parents’ plans until the age of 26, so that you can get the health care you need. And I particularly love that it’s given access to so many Americans access to life-saving preventive care like mammograms and vaccinations and blood pressure screenings.

So the Republicans are just dead set on repealing it. And besides, they never will tell you what they would do. So I believe we can basically discount what they say about the Affordable Care Act or about health care. They’ve even said they want to “phase out” Medicare. Imagine that. Well, I can tell you I will never let anyone phase out Medicare, and I will defend the Affordable Care Act.

But as president I want to go further. I want to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, because the truth is, it couldn’t and it didn’t solve all of our problems. Yes, the uninsured rate is the lowest in decades, but the cost of prescription drugs went up by over 12 percent last year. Now, your income I bet didn’t go up by over 12 percent. Meanwhile, other out-of-pocket costs are growing, too. And the insurance companies just keep raising premiums.

So while the overall growth in health care spending has slowed, and that’s good news for our economy. For a lot of families it doesn’t feel like health care costs are coming under control, because their own out-of-pocket costs keep climbing and their wages aren’t keeping up.

And that puts a lot of pressure on the families that are talking to me. And it’s not like you can stop buying the medicine your child needs or skip an appointment when you’re really sick because you can’t afford the co-pay. You find the money, even if it means taking on more credit card debt, or being late with other bills. And those aren’t real solutions. So I think we can do better.

I want us to take a really hard look about the pieces of the Affordable Care Act that need improvement. I have a plan to help families by bringing down the out-of-pocket health care costs that I will be rolling out in the next few days.

Now, though, I want to talk with you about how we can rein in the cost of prescription drugs.

Let me start by saying we live in a time of extraordinary breakthroughs in the fight against disease, from rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis to cancer. New drugs are making it possible for people to lead healthy, pain-free lives.

And our pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries deserve credit for that. They are helping save lives and ensure that America remains the world’s innovation superpower. And I saw that firsthand as secretary of state. I saw what our medicines meant for people living with diseases like HIV/AIDS. Helping people to stay alive and become healthy is one of the ways America can show who we are, what we stand for, what our values are.

But at the same time, we need to protect hard-working Americans here at home from excessive costs. Because too often, these drugs cost a fortune. Now, sometimes, there is a good reason for that. Scientific breakthroughs are often the result of major investments, both by pharmaceutical companies and by your federal government. So it may make sense for a short period of time to have to charge a lot of money for a drug.

But when a drug has no competition, when there aren’t any other treatments that can do what it does, pharmaceutical companies can charge astronomical fees, far beyond anything that it would take to recoup their investment, and far beyond what they charge consumers anywhere else in the world outside of America.

It has gotten to the point where people are being asked to pay not just hundreds, but thousands of dollars for a single pill. And I can tell you that is not the way the market is supposed to work. That is bad actors making a fortune off of people’s misfortune.

Some of you may have read about an egregious example of this that was in the news yesterday. A drug that’s been around for decades—it wasn’t just invented with new research and new dollars backing that up, it’s been around for decades—that went from costing $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill literally overnight.

That’s price gouging, pure and simple. And pharmaceutical companies that acquire an existing, affordable drug that people rely on it, and then turn around and charge a fortune for it just bet on the fact that desperate people will find some way to pay for it.

At the same time this is happening, top pharmaceutical companies are receiving billions of dollars in tax relief every single year and earning billions of dollar in profits every year. And many of them spend more money on marketing and advertising than they do on research.

You’ve seen the millions of ads on TV, right? They often show people being really happy and running through fields of wildflowers, and if you take this drug your life will be so much better. Meanwhile, they’re telling you it has this bad effect and that bad effect and be careful about this and don’t take it with that. But the visual image is so attractive. And it’s something that has bothered me for a long time.

Now, I know that whenever anyone starts talking, as I have, about reforming prescription drugs and their prices, some people worry that my proposals will threaten innovation. But I have designed a plan that will do exactly the opposite. I want to both protect consumers and promote innovation, while putting an end to profiteering. We can achieve a win-win for families, businesses, and America.

There are leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries who share my concerns about high prices. They know we need to make some changes. They just want to make sure it’s done right, and so do I.

So under my plan, drug companies who want to keep getting federal support will have to redirect more of their profits into meaningful investments in research and development. That’ll mean more breakthroughs, more good drugs, not fewer. The way I see it, if we, the American taxpayers, support your company, you should be focused on delivering results that benefit us, not just your shareholders and your executives.

And under my plan, I will make sure that when new drugs are introduced, doctors, businesses, and consumers can get clear answers about exactly how these new drugs will improve upon existing treatments.

I fought for this kind of transparency in the Senate, because here’s the truth. Too often, so-called “new” drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit. But then they’re marketed as breakthrough drugs, and they’re sold for high prices. Drug companies should have to explain why their new drugs are different and better than treatments on the market. Because I don’t want any of us paying for some fancy new pill that is no better than what’s already available.

I also want to tackle the direct-to-consumer advertising. I’m guessing that a lot of you might be surprised, even shocked, to learn your taxpayer dollars are actually helping pay for those ads. Other countries ban these ads because they are so often misleading. But at the very least, we shouldn’t be encouraging them with corporate write-offs where you can deduct the cost of marketing.

Under my plan, we will instead use that taxpayer money to fund innovation. I’d rather see more treatment, more cures, and way fewer ads, and I think a lot of us consumers feel the same way.

I would also like to make sure any ads the drug industry does run are approved by the FDA, so we will know they are accurate and understandable to those consumers who are watching or reading them.

Then there’s Medicare. You know, the more than 40 million Americans enrolled in Medicare represent a huge market for the drug companies. Therefore, I believe Medicare should be able to negotiate for lower prices for its members. This would be like what the VA now does. It’s a basic feature of a free market. But you know it’s actually against the law now for Medicare to negotiate for lower prices. And that makes no sense.

I have been fighting to change this law for years, and as president, I will get it done. I will require drug companies to provide higher rebates for prescription drugs to low-income Medicare patients, just like they have to do for Medicaid patients. That would save more than $100 billion in Medicare costs every year.

And you know how the Republicans are always talking about how Social Security is running out of money, and Medicare is running out of money? Well, they way exaggerate it. Don’t get all nervous about it. They love to make it sound like it’s going to happen tomorrow, with sort of ghostly music.

Well, we do have to make sure the Medicare trust fund is solvent. This would add to that. It would be a win-win.

Because what I see is if you get prescriptions or medicines that really help you, it doesn’t do you any good if you can’t afford to fill them.

So that’s why also under my plan I will cap out-of-pocket drug costs for working families. You won’t have to pay more than $250 a month for covered medications. And we know this can work, because several states have already do it. I want to do this nationally so that we can keep the costs down particularly for people who have a chronic illness.

Also under my plan, you will be able to import cheaper drugs from other countries legally. If the medicine you need costs less in Canada, you should be able to buy it from Canada, or any country that meets our safety standards.

You know, when I was privileged to represent New York, you know, look at the map, upstate New York borders Canada. Every week there would be buses of American seniors going over to Canada to buy drugs that were American manufactured, drugs that were invented by American companies, for a much cheaper price over the border. That makes no sense at all, folks. And when I’m your president, you will be able to do just that. Now, I don’t want you to have to drive to Canada, so you can order them online and get what you deserve to get.

I will also be sure we have more generics on the market. That will increase competition and give doctors and patients more choices, and save you money. Why don’t we have more generics on the market? Well, one reason is that the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs has a huge backlog. Well, I’m going to give them the funding and the personnel to clear that backlog, and approve dozens of generic versions of expensive drugs. That’s easy to do. We can get it done. I will save you money, it will help you with your medical issues.

Now, we’ve also got to deal with other out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance. According to a report by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation that came out just today, four out of five workers face an annual deductible, and the average deductible has risen nearly 50 percent since 2009, and it is now on average over $1,000.

As a result, millions of Americans are having trouble paying their medical bills. Some of you may be in that category or know somebody who is.

So even though we are successful as a nation in reining in costs, I want you to also have the benefit of that.

Why is it not happening as much as it should? Because insurance companies have been keeping the savings for themselves, and shifting more costs onto families. My plan will address that. I think the insurance companies need to be put on notice that they have to help people afford the medical care they need, not make it increasingly expensive and difficult to access.

So I’m excited because I think this would really give so many families a real shot at being able to afford the health care that you need.

And with my plan we’re going to add on to the good work that was done by the Affordable Care Act. And it’s really important that we work together on this. We can’t let the Republicans tear the progress away. If we’re serious about raising people’s incomes, we have to bring down out-of-pocket costs. I’m sure in this election you will see all kinds of ads about the out-of-pocket costs for the Affordable Care Act, and the Republican solution will be get rid of the Affordable Care Act. That would be a mistake. What we’re going to do is build on and improve the Affordable Care Act.

I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing for years, which is to fight for affordable, quality health care for Americans.

Thank you all very much.

 

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