Gary Johnson on Health Care
Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor
Martin Heinrich (D): Support. Repeal would make rural hospitals close & tens of thousands lose coverage . Against Medicare work rules.
Gary Johnson (L): Repeal. Would repeal ACA & cut Medicare. Supports free-market approach to health coverage.
Mick Rich (R): Repeal. "Restore a free-market approach to health insurance."
Gary Johnson: Bring competition to healthcare! A free market approach is needed, and recognize that healthcare is far removed from the free market.
JOHNSON: Well, you've got to address the entitlements. You can't do it if you don't address the entitlements.
JOHNSON: When it comes to Medicaid and Medicare, these services need to devolve to the states, something that is not currently happening. As the governor of New Mexico, if the federal government would have block-granted the state of New Mexico a fixed amount of money, I would have been able to draw new lines of eligibility, there would have been a health safety net; that those that were in need would not have gone without those needs being met. I think the Federal government, though, is incapable of drawing those new lines of eligibility, and I always say with 50 laboratories of innovation and best practice we will actually have some best practice that will get emulated, we'll also have some horrible failure that will get avoided.
JOHNSON: Well, you're assuming that health care has always existed. It's never been an issue of people receiving healthcare. It's been an issue of who pays for it.
Q: Who would pay for it if they're not eligible?
JOHNSON: Well, it ends up to be municipal, something that local communities deal with, and states do deal with, and then of course there's the federal money match on all this. But we've had this escalation of increasing Medicaid benefits for year after year after year, [to the level of] 300% of poverty. Well, just dial back that eligibility.
Q: But if local communities or states are paying for it, government spending hasn't gone down, just federal government spending has gone down.
JOHNSON: Federal government spending would have to go down.
Q: But total government spending would not have gone down.
JOHNSON: Not necessarily. No.
JOHNSON: Well, if you're talking about health care, the reforms needed are genuine free-market approaches to healthcare. I reject the notion that we have insurance to cover ourselves for ongoing medical need. It's really crazy. In a free-market approach to health care, we would have insurance to cover ourselves for catastrophic injury and illness, and we would pay as you go in a system that I'm going to guess would cost about 1/5 of what it costs right now. It would be cash and carry. It would be "Stitches R Us", it would be "Gallbladders R Us", "X-rays R Us". It would be advertised pricing. It would be advertised outcomes. Something that today, you go to the doctor, you have no idea what it's going to cost--you have no idea what the outcome's going to be, and when you see the bill you know that nobody's really going to pay the amount that's on that bill.
JOHNSON: There should be a safety net out there regarding health care, and in no way are we saying that the safety net should be eliminated. At the end of the day, I'm going to sign onto any initiatives, really, that bring a free-market approach to health care. We would have insurance to cover ourselves for catastrophic injury and illness. And if we could bring genuine competition to health care, you would have Stitches-R-Us; you would have advertised pricing with published outcomes. Something that right now, when any of us go to the doctor, we have no idea what it's going to cost, we have no idea what the outcome is going to be
He talks about medical advances, after having done everything in his power to kill medical innovation with new taxes and layers of bureaucracy. His signature promise of better care and lower cost simply isn't happening.
I'm optimistic, but not because of anything the government is going to do for us. I'm optimistic because it is clear America is tired of too much government and too little freedom, and appears poised to demand change--a different kind of change than we have gotten over the past 7 years.
To the extent that we, as a society, want to help those who are truly in need, that help can best be provided by the states--with any federal assistance coming in the form of block grants to be applied to best practices, innovative programs and the most efficient delivery of services.
A: Specifically, and this is waving the magic wand, because I recognize that there are three branches of government, I would have the federal government cut Medicare and Medicaid by 43% and block grant the programs [to the states] with no strings. Instead of giving the states one dollar--and it's not really giving because there are strings attached--the federal government needs to give the states 57 cents, take away the strings and give the states carte blanche for how to give health care to the poor. I reformed Medicaid as governor of New Mexico and, in that context, even with strings attached, I believe I could have delivered health care to the poor. I believe I could have done the same thing with Medicare.
A: Yes, if it's possible. I would do the same for [President Bush's Medicare] prescription [drug subsidies]. Two parties can take responsibility for where we're at right now.
In 2002, Johnson proposed limiting eligibility for Medicaid from 235% of the federal poverty level
A: I'm under the belief that we are on the verge of a financial collapse. And we have no ability to repay $14 trillion in debt if we're racking up $1.6 trillion in deficit spending in deficit spending this year, and the years looking ahead. Look, we're not going to pay back $14 trillion in debt. We have to embark on balancing the federal budget tomorrow.
A: Well, cutting $1.675 trillion from the federal government. You got to start out by talking about Medicare and Medicaid by 43 percent. They could block grant the states, 50 laboratories of innovation. Give it to the states to deliver health care to the poor and those over 65 and do away with the strings. Do away with that regulations; let states handle it. There would be best practices emerge. Other states would emulate the best practices. They're be failure. States would avoid the failure.
Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) has been "a patron saint to the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness." Paving the way nationally toward ending decades of unfair insurance discrimination, Senator Domenici and Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), successfully sponsored landmark legislation, the Mental Health Parity Act, which took effect on January 1, 1998.
The Governors support efforts designed to enable small employers to join together to participate more effectively in the health insurance market. In fact, Governors have taken the lead in facilitating the development of such partnerships and alliances. However, these partnerships must be carefully structured and regulated by state agencies in order to protect consumers and small businesses from fraud and abuse and underinsurance. NGA opposes attempts to expand federal authority under ERISA. The Governors have identified the prevention of such federal legislation in the 107th Congress as a top legislative priority.
States have the primary responsibility for health insurance regulation. Across the nation, Governors are working to protect consumers and patients and to properly regulate the complicated health insurance industry.
The American Family Association Action Voter Guide asked if candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).' American Family Association Action (AFA Action) produces the online "iVoterGuide" for selected state and federal races. The mission of AFA Action is to inform and mobilize individuals to strengthen the biblical foundations of America.
As you know, preserving and protecting the state tobacco settlement funds is the nationís Governorsí highest priority. We strongly urge you to reach final agreement and pass the conference report on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill soon, and to retain the Senate provision that protects our settlement funds from federal seizure.
Many of our state legislatures are currently in session, and some have already completed work on their budgets. Therefore, it is critical that conferees reach agreement quickly on this issue. Governors are unified in their commitment to ensuring that the funds remain in the states and that there be no restrictions on statesí ability to tailor spending to meet the needs of their citizens.
We offer our strongest support for conferees to recede to the Senate version of the bill containing the Hutchison/Graham bipartisan tobacco recoupment protection legislation.
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Senate races 2017-8:
AZ: Flake(R) vs. Ward(R) vs.Sinema(D) vs.Abboud(D) vs.McSally(R) vs.Arpaio(R) vs.Marks(L)
CA: Feinstein(D) vs. Eisen(I) vs. Sanchez?(D) vs.de_Leon(D)
CT: Murphy(D) vs.Adams(D) vs.Corey(R)
DE: Carper(D) vs.Arlett(R) vs.Truono(R) vs.
FL: Nelson(D) vs.
HI: Hirono(D) vs.Curtis(R) vs.
IN: Donnelly(D) vs.
MA: Warren(D) vs. Ayyadurai(I) vs.
MD: Cardin(D) vs.Campbell(R) vs.Vohra(L) vs.
ME: King(I) vs.Brakey(R) vs.Ringelstein(D) vs.Lyons(L)
MI: Stabenow(D) vs.
MN-6: Klobuchar(D) vs.Newberger(R) vs.Overby(G)
MO: McCaskill(D) vs.Petersen(R) vs.Petersen(R) vs.Monetti(R) vs.Hawley(R)
MS-2: vs.Hyde-Smith(R) vs. McDaniel(R) vs.Espy(D) vs.
MS-6: Wicker(R) vs.Baria(D) vs.
MT: Tester(D) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Rosendale(R)
ND: Heitkamp(D) vs.Peyer(D) vs.Cramer(R) vs.
NE: Fischer(R) vs.Raybould(D)
NJ: Menendez(D) vs.
NM: Heinrich(D) vs.Rich(R) vs.Johnson(L)
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OH: Brown(D) vs.
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WA: Cantwell(D) vs.Hutchison(R) vs.Ferguson(D) vs.Luke(L) vs.Strider(L)
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