He said he supports “anything that moves health care forward” and legislation that lowers prescription drug costs
Congressman Salud Carbajal speaks to Vista del Monte retirement community residents about health care policy during a meeting Monday. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
Congressman Salud Carbajal addressed health care and prescription drug costs during a town hall meeting at a retirement community in Santa Barbara Monday, and said he wants to enhance protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, lower drug costs, expand Social Security, and protect people from high medical bills.
Carbajal, a Democrat in his second term representing the 24th District, spoke to residents at Vista del Monte Santa Barbara about health care, environmental policy, nuclear energy, and immigration.
He said he supports “anything that moves health care forward — Medicare for America. Medicare For All.”
He also said he favors proposals that make the system better and more affordable, and that “the status quo is not good enough.”
The House of Representatives passed the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, also known as H.R. 987, a package of bills protecting and expanding access to affordable health care and lowering the high cost of prescription drugs, but it still needs Senate approval, Carbajal said.
The bill will “bring cheaper generic drugs to the market, and restore and strengthen parts of the Affordable Care Act that have been undermined in the last Congress,” he said.
“We need to continue to protect the gains that we have achieved through the Affordable Care Act,” he added.
The House will discuss other prescription drug-related bills when they meet for session in a week, including the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, Carbajal said.
He is a co-sponsor of the bill, H.R. 3, which ends the ban on Medicare directly negotiating with the pharmaceutical companies and limits the maximum price for negotiated drug to the average price, according to the measure. Current law forbids Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices.
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, speaks about legislation lowering prescription drug costs during a Monday meeting with Vista del Monte residents. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)
“People should never be forced to choose between putting food on the table or getting lifesaving medicine,” he said. “They should never be forced to go into debt for medicine they need medically for necessary care.”
Carbajal told Vista del Monte residents that the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is “working hard every day to move forward legislation that addresses the many challenges we are facing as a nation, from health care to gun safety to climate change to immigration to increasing wages and jobs — all those things people want us to work on.”
The Senate is “not doing their job” under Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he said.
The 24th Congressional District represents roughly 738,700 residents in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and northern Ventura counties.
Carbajal is running for re-election in 2020 and Andy Caldwell, a government watchdog and executive director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB), has also entered the race.
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