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Presidential Candidates Speak at Forum in Bettendorf

Three Democratic presidential candidates spoke at a forum in Bettendorf Tuesday. The Des Moines Register and the AARP hosted Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Kirsten Gillibrand at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center.

Healthcare was the primary topic of discussion, notably the cost of prescription drugs.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says under her presidency, she would have federal agencies make generic drugs to compete with pharmaceutical companies.

“Under my Medicare for all plan, the first thing I’m going to do, is go back to the drug manufacturers and guarantee that American citizens and anyone on Medicare gets the lowest price for every drug.”  

California Senator Kamala Harris says she wants to have the government set the costs of prescription drugs. 

“I know that there are seniors in Iowa who get on a bus to go to Canada to get your medication, and that’s just awful. When we look at this issue, this is something we can solve, but government has to do its job and leaders have to do their job.”

Former HUD Secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro says that he would institute patent reform to “close loopholes that allow drug companies to keep renewing patents on life-saving drugs so that people cannot get them for a reasonable price.”

The next Des Moines Register and AARP presidential forums will be held Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, Friday in Sioux City and Saturday in Council Bluffs.

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