In their final debate before the Iowa committees, six candidates competing for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party gave an idea of the policies that would directly affect the finances of American families.
Pocket problems were far from being the only issue of the CNN / Des Moines Record the presidential debate on Tuesday night in Des Moines, the last time the Democratic contenders will face each other before the February 3 meeting in Iowa.
The candidates promoted their abilities to be the commander in chief of the nation in a context of tensions between the United States and Iran. And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Tried to quell a dust that arose in recent days by reports that Sanders told Warren that he didn't believe a woman could win the presidency. Sanders has denied making that statement.
Still, a good part of the debate, which also included former Vice President Joe Biden; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; and political activist Tom Steyer, focused on medical care, university affordability and other issues that weigh heavily on the family budget.
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Candidates discussed the merits of a Medicare for all program compared to the Low Price Health Care Act.
Sanders said that one way to pay for his Medicare For All plan would be to impose "a 4% income tax, exempting the first $ 29,000, so the average US family that earns $ 60,000 today would pay $ 1,200 a year in comparison with the family that pays $ 12,000 a year & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Families will also save money because they will no longer have to pay the various fees that arise when they need to see the doctor. "Finish all the bonuses," he said. "End all co-payments. End the absurdity of deductibles. End out-of-pocket expenses & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Meanwhile, Warren said he would use the powers of the presidency to reduce medicine costs, and that middle-class families would not have to pay the bill.
"Last year, 36 million people went to the doctor to get a prescription … and they couldn't afford to fill the prescription & # 39; & # 39 ;, he said." I have developed a plan in which we can do it without raising taxes on middle class families in a dime & # 39; & # 39 ;.
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Using presidential powers, "the first day, we can reduce the cost of prescription drugs & # 39; & # 39 ;, he said." I will use the power that has already been given to the president to reduce the cost of insulin and HIV / AIDS medications. … And I will defend the Health Care Law at Low Price & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Buttigieg advocated options: "You don't have to be in my plan if there is another plan you prefer to keep," he said. "It is not necessary to get Americans out of the plans they want to provide Medicare for everyone."
He said his proposal would cost $ 1.5 trillion over a decade, and he proposed paying it in part by negotiating the prices of prescription drugs, as well as getting rid of corporate tax cuts approved by the Trump administration "that were applied to corporations and the rich who they didn't. I don't even need it & # 39; & # 39 ;.
In addition, Buttigieg proposed a monthly pocket limit of $ 250 for prescription drugs.
Klobuchar made his own speech to fix the country's health system.
"The answer is a public non-profit option," he said. "It's a big step to tell people who earn $ 100,000 a year that their premiums will be cut in half, which is what the nonprofit public option will do."
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In addition, Klobuchar said he had a plan to help people pay for treatment for addictions and mental health problems and pressured to improve long-term care insurance.
Biden, who worked with President Barack Obama to approve the ACA, agreed with Klobuchar that some of the other candidates' proposals were not realistic.
Instead, Biden said he wanted to "take Obamacare, restore it, rebuild it, provide a public option, allow Medicare for those who want it," Biden said, adding that there must also be a process to reduce drug costs. " That costs $ 740 billion for 10 years & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Steyer agreed that the nation's health care system needed repair, but gave few details on how it would.
"Everyone at this stage knows that Americans are paying twice as much for medical care as any other advanced country in the world," he said. "We should move forward and develop the Low Price Health Care Law with a public option."
Child care costs emerge as a topic of discussion in the Iowa Democratic debate
The six candidates agreed that parents need help paying for child care.
"It makes no sense that child care costs two-thirds of someone's income," Buttigieg said. "We have to take it to 7% or less and to zero for those families living in poverty. But this is happening to people at all levels of the income spectrum & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Warren was for universal child care, although he said some people may have to make a small payment.
"I have a 2 cents estate tax so we can cover child care for all of our children and provide universal Pre-K for every 3 and 4 year old in the United States and stop exploiting people who do this valuable work. & # 39; & # 39 ;, said.
In addition to tripling the amount of money directed to schools to ensure that every 3, 4, and 5 year old child can attend classes and programs after school, Biden said he would "have a $ 8,000 tax credit" that could allow 7 million women return to work and make sure their children are taken care of. He also supported giving assistance to parents too poor to pay for child care.
Democrats confront the price of higher education in the Des Moines debate
Buttigieg was for free university, but not for everyone.
"For the first 80% of Americans by income, it's free at public universities," he said of his plan. "But if you're at that high income level … I just need you to go ahead and pay that tuition, because we could be using those dollars for something else."
And Warren once again mentioned his estate tax as a source of funding. "We need to ask people with fortunes over 50 million to pay more," he said.
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