This past Tuesday, two U.S. senators and former presidential candidates participated in a televised debate with American health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as the topic. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) engaged in a town hall style debate primarily on whether the ACA should be repealed and what could replace it.

The healthcare law often called Obamacare has been the focus of controversy since its implementation in 2010. The Affordable Care Act was designed to lower the uninsured rate and expand insurance coverage with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of health care. It removed barriers for many Americans with pre-existing conditions and other underserved communities’ access to health insurance. It faced strong opposition by the GOP, saying it would instead increase healthcare costs and disrupt the current insurance markets. The Republican-majority House of Representatives went so far as to vote over 60 times to repeal the law; none of the attempts were successful.

Senator Sanders’

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In a previous blog post, we went over why drug prices can rise seemingly without explanation and how the cost of medications ranks as a top priority to a majority of Americans.  We are now in the midst of primary elections in the United States, and candidates from both parties have addressed the issue and proposed different policies.

In the same prior blog post, we mentioned a proposed bill for the Prescription Drug Affordability Act.  Independent Senator from Vermont and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders proposed the bill aimed at assisting individuals with Medicare with the high costs of medications, allow government negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and importing medications from nations that offer life-saving drugs at a lower price (particularly Canada where drug prices are 40% lower than in the US).  His presidential campaign is running on a platform of transparency in drug pricing and to prohibit anti-competitive “pay-for-delay” deals that keep cheaper generic medications being made available.

Sanders has also taken

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