Since its very beginning, the UAW has maintained that healthcare is a right, not simply a privilege for the wealthy. Early efforts included advocating for the passage of Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The UAW continues that work today by urging Congress to pass bold reforms to drive down the cost of prescription drugs as well as expand access to more affordable, comprehensive, equitable and effective healthcare for all. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of advancing policies to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, accessible health care coverage.
Preserving the ACA is essential. The need for affordable, attainable health insurance for all was emphasized with the COVID-19 crisis as many Americans went to their doctors and emergency rooms to get tested and seek treatment for COVID-19. Access to health care during the pandemic would be far worse without the ACA. The ACA has helped by lowering out-of-pocket costs and by requiring many plans to cover essential benefits, including doctors’ services and prescription drug costs.
Fighting back against efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. The entire ACA could be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in a lawsuit known as Texas v. Azar which would eliminate health care coverage for millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.
Fighting back against Big Pharma and high prescription drug costs. We must work to lower the cost of prescription drugs and hold Big Pharma- accountable for price gouging.
Protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions. We must support policies that prevent insurance companies from charging higher premiums or taking away health care coverage for pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes and asthma.
Oppose changes to Medicare which could raise costs to seniors or lead to benefit cuts.
Oppose cuts to Medicaid programs helping seniors, low income families, people with disabilities and veterans.
Advancing a comprehensive plan to respond to and prevent future health care crisis like the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic
The UAW supported comprehensive health coverage for all Americans as far back as the 1940s.
The UAW first proposed comprehensive health coverage for all Americans in the early 1960s.
In the 1960s, the UAW was instrumental in passing both Medicaid and Medicaid as well as preserving the modern Social Security system.
In the 1970s, UAW leaders were among the first to propose comprehensive dental coverage for all Americans.
The UAW, from its earliest days, recognized the importance of healthcare in America and created standing committees focused on health care and social security.
In 2007, the UAW agreed to create a trust fund to manage health care benefits for Ford, GM and Chrysler retirees. Currently, the Trust provides health care benefits to more than 656,271 retirees.
The UAW supported the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 and continues to fight for its maintenance.
Preserving and strengthening the ACA.
Skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.
Protecting 135 million people with pre-existing conditions.
Safeguarding Medicaid and Medicare, protecting the health care of the most vulnerable among us.
Ensuring that COVID-19 treatments, prescription drugs and vaccines, once developed, are affordable to everyone who needs them.
Electing leadership that has a national coordinated plan to respond to current and future health care pandemics.
DEMOCRAT – Joseph Biden and Healthcare
Biden has indicated that he will protect the Affordable Care Act. He opposes every effort to dismantle the ACA. Instead of starting from scratch and getting rid of private insurance, he has a plan to build on the ACA by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making the health care system less complex to navigate.
Biden supports expanding tax credits to help more individuals and families get access to health care coverage in the ACA marketplace and also help lower the cost.
Biden will put an end to “surprise medical bills.” Consumers trying to lower their health care spending often try to choose an in-network provider. But sometimes patients are unaware they are receiving care from an out-of-network provider and end up with unexpected medical bills. The Biden plan will bar health care providers from charging patients out-of-network rates when the patient doesn’t have control over which provider they see.
Biden promises to stand up to Big Pharma and:
Repeal the exception allowing drug corporations to avoid negotiating with Medicare over drug prices. The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations.
Limit launch prices for drugs that face no competition and are being abusively priced by manufacturers. Under the Biden Plan, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will establish an independent review board to assess their value. In addition, the Biden Plan will allow private plans participating in the individual marketplace to access a similar rate.
Limit price increases for all brand, biotech, and abusively priced generic drugs to inflation. The Biden Plan will also impose a tax penalty on drug manufacturers that increase the costs of their brand, biotech, or abusively priced generic over the general inflation rate.
Allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries. To create more competition for U.S. drug corporations, the Biden Plan will allow consumers to import prescription drugs from other countries, as long as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has certified that those drugs are safe.
Improve the supply of quality generics. The Biden Plan supports numerous proposals to accelerate the development of safe generics.
Millions of low-income Americans have been denied access to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion because the governors and state legislatures in 14 states have refused to adopt it. Joe Biden’s health care plan will give health insurance to millions of low-income Americans by giving them access to premium-free public health insurance similar to Medicaid.
Biden’s comprehensive plan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic includes:
Biden’s plan will expand access to contraception and protect the constitutional right to an abortion. In addition, the Biden Plan will:
Restoring the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Defense to respond to future global health threats. This Council was established by the Obama-Biden Administration and was eliminated in 2018.
Biden supports a special ACA enrollment period in health care marketplaces during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Making COVID-19 testing more widely available and free.
Giving all frontline workers high quality and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to keep front line workers safe by requiring employers to implement infectious disease exposure plans to prevent spread of COVID 19.
Before voting, review where each candidate stands on health care issues from fighting for Medicare benefits, lowering the cost of prescription drugs to efforts that would repeal or replace the ACA. The COVID-19 pandemic is also a stark reminder that our elected leaders must have a comprehensive plan to respond to a public health crisis.