Health care plans SWFL can expect from the president and candidates

Democrats hope health care takes center stage when voters head to the polls in November. They are making the issue a central part of their campaign and have a variety of promises they are giving you.

Lydia Carloni struggles to get out of bed each morning. She has painful arthritis.

“The rheumatoid makes me feel useless and I can’t do my daily work,” Carloni said. “I can’t do my stuff around the house. I hurt. So I’m cranky, in depressed, there’s a fog that comes over you.”

Carloni, 58 years old, said medicine helps her condition. Her insurance used to cover the $2,200 a month cost, doctor visits and lab tests, but this year, she cannot afford the premiums.

“I’m scared. I’m real scared,” Carloni said. “I need a candidate who is going to address this. It’s important.”

Health care is so imperative that Carloni is going to vote for the candidate with the best plan for her, just like millions of Americans who said it is their number one issue. The candidates know it, and just like the debate in Las Vegas hosted by NBC News last week, expect them to talk about their plans a lot in Tuesday’s debate hosted by CBS News.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren want “Medicare for all.” Medicare is our national health insurance program, begun in 1966 under the Social Security Administration and now administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is primarily for low-income Americans.

Sanders and Warren would require all Americans to join and give up their existing public and private plans. Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, said paying for medicare for all would be a challenge.

“Medicare for all would be paid for by increasing taxes,” Bergerson said.

“I love Bernie Sanders and his plans; I really do,” Carloni said. “How well they could be integrated here in America from day one, I don’t see it.”

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg also wants government-run health care but will not mandate everyone to join. Buttigieg said rolling back U.S. President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts and negotiating drug prices with pharmaceuticals companies will pay for it.

Regarding former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, Bergerson said his medicare program is to expand the Affordable Care Act. Biden also wants the government to negotiate with big pharma. He would pay for it by raising the taxes on wealthier Americans, like a married couple making over $600,000 a year, along with capital gains tax spike for people who make $1 million.

Then there is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who also wants to expand on the ACA while creating a non-profit public health option, which has an emphasis on access in rural areas.

Bergerson said former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg‘s plan is still a work in progress. He wants people to keep their private insurance and build on the ACA but offers few specifics. Undecided, Carloni will be watching the debate on WINK Tuesday evening and charting the health care conversation closely.

“It’s a right. It’s happiness,” Carloni said. “And our constitution says we get that.”

While Carloni is incorrect health care is not in our constitution a lot of people feel that our right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as described in the Declaration of Independence should also include a right to health care.

Trump is big on keeping health care in the private sector but wants prices to lower. The president also wants cheaper medication and just announced a plan to import prescriptions from Canada.

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
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