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BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

What do the 2018 mid-term elections mean for health care consumers?

prescription drug costs are too highEfforts to control rising health care costs by capping providers’ profits failed to gain traction with California voters.

Statewide, voters soundly defeated Proposition 8, which would have restricted the profits earned by companies that provide kidney dialysis treatment. According to Healio, a health news website, the 100-member Service Employees International Union-United Health Care Workers spent more than $20 million pushing the measure.

Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita Inc., which own and operate more than 70 percent of the dialysis clinics in the state, spent $114 million to defeat the measure.

Meanwhile, PaloAltoOnline.com reports voters in the City of Palo Alto soundly defeated a union-backed proposal aimed at capping how much hospitals, doctors and other medical providers can charge patients and insurance companies. The San Jose Mercury News reports that voters rejected a similar measure in the City of Livermore.

Nationwide, Julie Rovner at Kaiser Health News reports, health care was a concern for voters, but the outcome of the 2018 mid-term elections did not clearly point to any policy consensus. However, on Election Day (and before the results were known), Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said during an interview she thought Democrats and Republican President Donald Trump “could find common ground on reducing the cost of prescription drugs, if the president is serious about saying he wants to do that.”

What do you think? What health care policies would you like your elected leaders to embrace in the next year? Share your thoughts and  with Voices for Affordable Health.