Kansas 3rd Congressional District candidates on the issues: Do Americans have a right to affordable healthcare?

We’re continuing with responses to our questions for the the three candidates running for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District seat. Here’s question number two:

Should all Americans be guaranteed the right to have access to affordable health insurance? If so, how should that right be addressed? Should coverage be guaranteed for pre-existing conditions?

Kevin Yoder, Republican

Did not respond.

Sharice Davids, Democrat

Everyone has a right to have access to quality, affordable healthcare. We don’t want to go back to the days when insurance companies cancelled your policy if you got sick, denied coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and put caps on coverage that drove people into bankruptcy. We shouldn’t have to go broke to take care of ourselves. That’s why I will work with anyone from either party who wants to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. And I’ll oppose any plan that would take away health care coverage or end protections for pre-existing conditions like diabetes, cancer, and asthma. While affordable healthcare is a priority for almost every Kansan I talk to, my opponent has different priorities. He took $500,000 from the insurance industry, then voted repeatedly to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In Congress, I’ll work for healthcare that benefits the people of Kansas – not the special interests.

Chris Clemmons, Libertarian

Americans should have access to affordable healthcare, and they should not have their right to access said healthcare curtailed by the federal government in any way.

In fact, it’s government interference that explains a large portion of the high cost of healthcare today. Take pharmaceuticals, for instance. Any new drug that makes it to the market will be guaranteed a 20 year government protected monopoly for that drug, despite the fact that most companies recoup R&D costs within the first year of coming to market. Were the federal government to reduce those patents from 20 years, to 10 years or even 5 years, the cost of most Americans’ medications would plummet. Furthermore, were the legislature to change FDA guidelines to help lubricate the entry of generic medications to market, the days of high pharmaceutical costs could be nothing more than a bad memory.

In regards to high cost for general care, those woes are beginning to be solved by the market. Direct Primary Care is revolutionizing the primary care field, and is creating significant savings for both patients and doctors, as there is no more need for primary care insurance or staff to negotiate with insurance companies. Patients simply pay a monthly fee to their primary care physician and receive unlimited office visits at no additional cost, free or heavily discounted lab work, and pharmaceuticals at-cost. Not only does this save money, but because there is no fretting over high cost office visits, patients are more willing to visit the doctor, and are healthier as a result. As more people move into the DPC model, insurance companies and the federal government begin leaving the picture, reducing administrative overhead, which has seen a 3,600% increase over the last 35 years, despite medical staff increasing only 150% within the same time frame.

Healthcare is a complex system, and like with all complex systems, centralized control tends to create more problems than it solves. The more we reduce interference from regulatory agencies and insurance companies, the cheaper and more effective healthcare services will become, meaning affordable care for all Americans.

Tomorrow, we’ll run the candidates’ responses to item three:

Are you comfortable with the current operation of the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency? If so, why? If not, what needs to change? Should the agency be abolished? What key points would you include in any immigration overhaul?