5 healthcare takeaways from the 1st Democratic debate


Ten Democratic candidates took the stage together June 26 for the first debate of the 2020 presidential primary. During the debate, which was the first in a two-night event, healthcare was one of the major issues discussed.

Five takeaways:

1. "Medicare for All" was among the health policies candidates discussed. When the 10 presidential hopefuls were asked if they would eliminate private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio were the only two who raised their hands, according to CNBC.

2. Candidates called for more scrutiny of pharmaceutical companies. Ms. Warren said "giant drug companies" played a part in "rigging" the American economy in favor of corporate interests, according to STAT.

3. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke called out Purdue Pharma by name, saying the company's "connection to the opioid crisis and the overdose deaths that we're seeing throughout this country, they've been able to act with complete impunity and pay no consequences, not a single night in jail." He said the crisis will continue unless there's accountability, according to STAT.

4. New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker also discussed the opioid crisis. He said opioid makers should be held criminally liable for the crisis of addiction and overdoses across the nation.

5. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar called for lowering drug prices and offered specific policy proposals. She argued Medicare should be allowed to directly negotiate pharmaceutical prices and advocated for allowing drug importation from certain foreign countries, according to STAT.

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