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Harris vows to put 'people over profit' in prescription drug plan
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential candidate, on Tuesday unveiled a prescription drug plan that aims to put "people over profit" by cracking down on pharmaceutical companies for high-priced medications.
Harris said she can help lower the cost of prescription drugs and make health care more affordable to consumers by allowing the federal government to set fair prices for pharmaceutical companies, and forcing these companies to pay rebates if medications are sold at artificially high prices.
"As President, I will not stand idly by as Americans pay thousands of dollars for prescription drugs while big pharmaceutical companies rake in massive profits," Harris said in a statement. "This plan puts people over profit by forcing these companies to reduce prices for consumers and holding them accountable when they gouge Americans."
According to the proposal, 100 percent of drug makers' profits would be taxed if they sell a product above the fair price. The revenue collected will be "directly rebated to consumers."
The California Democrat would also allow drugs to be imported from abroad and penalize manufacturers that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation.
Harris added that if Congress can't pass her proposal in her first 100 days in office, she would take executive action to investigate pharmaceutical companies that are price gouging, selling medications at lower prices in other developed countries or increasing their prices faster than inflation.
Harris plans to announce the plan at a presidential campaign forum in Iowa this week, Reuters reports.
High prescription drug prices have become a focal issue among 2020 candidates, with Democratic contenders as well as President Trump vowing to take on the task of lowering costs.
Harris is the latest Democratic presidential contender to release a health care plan.
Former Vice President Joe Biden announced on Monday his White House campaign's health care proposal, which does not support "Medicare for All," but instead builds on ObamaCare by adding a public option.
Biden's plan also moves to repeal the law that bars Medicare from negotiating with drug companies to lower prices.