Action on Health Care Costs Included in Democrats’ Platform
Democratic leaders on Friday outlined their platform for the November midterm elections, pledging to address health care costs and focus on other domestic issues, the New York Times reports. The Democrats' plan would authorize the government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies under the Medicare drug benefit and increase stem cell research.
Democrats -- who hope to regain the majority in Congress this November -- said the country has been led in "the wrong direction" under Republicans and pledged to take the U.S. in "a new direction." Health care, college and fuel costs all have increased faster than U.S. residents' incomes under the Republican majority, Democrats said (Zernike, New York Times, 6/17).
Democrats also pledged to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over two years and approve a "pay as you go" budgeting rule, among other plans.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, "A new direction means expanding access to affordable health care for Americans," adding, "We will begin by lowering the cost of prescription drugs by putting seniors ahead of pharmaceutical companies and HMOs" (Werner, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/17).
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, "The American people want a new direction," adding, "The Democrats are telling them: We're ready for this election. We have the message, we have the candidates, and we're bringing that message to the American people" (Talev, Orlando Sentinel, 6/18).