health care

Do you support giving the federal government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare?

Yes

Yes, supports

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“Because Medicare covers so many Americans, it has significant leverage to negotiate lower prices for its beneficiaries. And it does so for hospitals and other providers participating in the program, but not drug manufacturers. Drug manufacturers not facing any competition, therefore, can charge whatever price they choose to set. There’s no justification for this except the power of prescription drug lobbying,” Biden’s health-care plan said. “The Biden Plan will repeal the existing law explicitly barring Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Biden
Biden

Michael Bennet (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet is no longer running for president. Bennet's "campaign website touts his 'Medicare X' health care plan, saying it "empowers the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for the first time, bringing down costs for tens of millions of Americans." He co-sponsored the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Michael Bennet
Bennet

Mike Bloomberg (Dropped out)

Former New York mayor

Bloomberg is no longer running for president. Bloomberg “would work with Congress to authorize the secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies,” his health plan said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Mike Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Cory Booker (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker is no longer running for president. Booker is a Senate co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. He is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Cory Booker
Booker

Steve Bullock (Dropped out)

Governor, Montana

Bullock is no longer running for president. “Rising prescription drug costs have been a major factor in making health care unaffordable for many Americans,” Bullock told The Post. “The federal government should step in to negotiate lower costs for all of us.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Pete Buttigieg (Dropped out)

Former mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg is no longer running for president. Buttigieg supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro (Dropped out)

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro is no longer running for president. Castro supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Julian Castro
Castro

John Delaney (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney is no longer running for president. "Yes. 100%," Delaney told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Delaney
Delaney

Bill de Blasio (Dropped out)

Mayor, New York City

de Blasio is no longer running for president. “The federal government caving into big pharma by not allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices is costing America's seniors billions of dollars per year,” de Blasio told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Tulsi Gabbard (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Hawaii

Gabbard is no longer running for president. Gabbard is a co-sponsor of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. Gillibrand is a Senate co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. She is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, California

Harris is no longer running for president. She has co-sponsored Sanders’s latest Medicare negotiation bill.

Candidate positions highlighted
Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. Hickenlooper supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. Inslee supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar is no longer running for president. Klobuchar is a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. In January, she introduced the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “Yes. As someone who benefits from negotiated drug prices at the VA, I face lower prices for my prescriptions. If it works for our veterans it should work for all Americans,” Moulton told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke is no longer running for president. As a Texas congressman, he co-sponsored the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Deval Patrick (Dropped out)

Former governor, Massachusetts

Patrick is no longer running for president. Patrick supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, his campaign told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Deval Patrick
Patrick

Tim Ryan (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan is no longer running for president. “Drug prices are out of control. We need to rein in Big Pharma's price gouging tactics and allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices,” Ryan said in a Facebook post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders is no longer running for president. In January, he introduced the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act. He is also a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak (Dropped out)

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak is no longer running for president. Sestak supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer (Dropped out)

Billionaire activist

Steyer is no longer running for president. Steyer supports giving the government the ability to negotiate drug prices for Medicare, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I will do anything that is safe for patients — from negotiating prices to better enforcement of antitrust laws — to make prescription drugs more affordable, because prices are simply too high now for too many Americans,” Swalwell told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren is no longer running for president. Warren is a co-sponsor of the Affordable Medications Act. She is also a co-sponsor of Sanders’s latest Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act.

Candidate positions highlighted
Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson (Dropped out)

Author

Williamson is no longer running for president. "Yes," Williamson told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang (Dropped out)

Tech entrepreneur

Yang is no longer running for president. “Absolutely,” Yang told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Andrew Yang
Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Hover for more information

Tap for info

Background By law, the federal government is not allowed to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for seniors on Medicare, but lawmakers have pushed for legislation to give federal officials that ability, such as the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act in the House and the Affordable Medications Act in the Senate.

A February 2019 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found 86 percent of the public favors allowing the government to negotiate with drug companies to lower drug costs under Medicare.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

This page will update as we learn more about the candidates’ plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president. If a candidate dropped out after a question was published here, their stance is included under the "Show former candidates" option. If they dropped out before a question was first published, the Post did not reach out to get their stance.

Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.