Brian Schweitzer on Health Care
Democratic MT Governor
At the center of his own proposal is allowing citizens below the retirement age to enroll in Medicare, forcing private insurers to compete against the government rate. "As you probably recall, most Democrats were calling for a public option. But what came out of the Senate Finance Committee did not have a public option," Schweitzer says, blaming health insurance lobbyists and their enablers in both parties. "We now have the corporate party and the corporate-lite party."
Schweitzer would like to create a state-run system that borrows from the program used in Saskatchewan. He said the Canadian province controls cost by negotiating drug prices and limiting non-emergency procedures such as MRIs. Schweitzer said the province's demographics and economy are similar to Montana in several ways, yet its residents live longer while spending far less on health care.
During the health care debate two years ago, only the most liberal lawmakers were calling for some form of the doomed proposals for "Medicare for all." But Schweitzer continues to argue that a program like that makes much more sense than the one signed into law by President Barack Obama. The governor told a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services that Congress has designed a "pack of crap" that gives away far too much to the pharmaceutical industry.
Schweitzer said Montanans with private insurance could drop that coverage if they choose and buy into the state-run plan at a cheaper rate. He envisioned a system that would cover, with copays for service, all the uninsured in Montana.
In a letter to congressional leadership, 22 governors are urging federal lawmakers to adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year to provide families and businesses with much-needed security and stability.
"We commend you and your colleagues for provisions included in your bills that will help states," the governors wrote. "Many of the provisions will allow states to achieve long term savings and help cover those who currently go without health coverage. We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system."
"Efforts at the federal level, like the recent and critical investments that support states' HIV and prevention initiatives, are beginning the work to lower health care costs. Our citizens and our states, however, will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together to achieve health care reform."
|Other candidates on Health Care:||Brian Schweitzer on other issues:|
2016 Democratic Candidates:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
2016 GOP Candidates:
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)