Democratic Congressional candidate Reggie Thomas says health care is the top issue, and he wants a single-payer model

09/14/2017 11:17 AM

State Sen. Reggie Thomas, D-Lexington, jumped into the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District this summer citing a vote by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“That led me to believe that, look, Reggie it’s time for you to do something and so I began to think about seriously getting into the race, and ultimately decided that I can be better for the people of the 6th Congressional District than he can,” Thomas said.

The Lexington Democrat views health care as the single biggest issue facing the people of the 6th Congressional District which is a mix of urban and rural areas and includes the city of Lexington and surrounding suburbs as well as the city of Frankfort, the state capital.

For Thomas health care is a “moral right.”

As some Democrats pursue “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act, others including Thomas advocate for a new health care delivery model in the United States with a “Medicare for all” style approach which caught national attention under Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“A single-payer system for everyone that not only, Nick, will save money, but save lives,” he said.

There are lots of questions being debated in Congress surrounding switching to a single-payer system with the government as the “single-payer.” One key question on the table is paying for the plan; A 2016 report by the Urban Institute estimated a total cost of $32 trillion over 10 years.

The plan is incredibly unlikely to pass Congress with the GOP in control of both chambers and the White House, but more and more Democrats are talking about moving to this model.

Thomas would also like to see the government take part in negotiating for the best price of prescription drugs, and promote generic and bio-similar drugs.

The Lexington Senator also weighed in on issues of coal and despair in eastern Kentucky as well as campaign politics and raising the debt ceiling.

Thomas faces former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath and perennial candidate Geoff Young in the Democratic primary, other Democrats are still rumored to be considering the race.


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