Do you think U.S. health-care costs are out of control? The United States has the highest health spending among developed countries, spending 19.7% of its GDP on healthcare in 2020. Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world, while pharmaceutical companies post astronomical profits. The U.S. also has higher rates of private health spending, higher physician salaries, and higher costs for administration and medicine. Americans do not pay more because they use more health-care services; instead, we pay more because prices are higher.

What do these high prices have to do with money in politics? These areas of higher costs align with lobbying amounts and campaign donations for several groups. Lobbyists for pharmaceutical companies, physicians, insurers and health professionals are the largest source of federal campaign contributions in the health-care sector. By pouring money into politics, these donors look to protect their financial interests and discourage policy proposals that threaten the status quo. Sky-high profits “allow the industry to amass a war chest to fend off…overhauls like Medicare for All,” according to a recent analysis.

Who pays the cost? Families and workers bear the brunt of this system, as they watch insurance premiums rise faster than wage increases. As the weight of the bloated health-care industry is driven upon people and businesses, industry lobbyists spend its concentrated wealth to overshadow the will of the American people—73% of whom want healthcare reform—by funding elections and re-elections, and lobbying for legislative favors.

What can we do about it? American Promise is working with Americans across the country to advance the For Our Freedom Amendment and ensure the voices of every American are heard just as loudly as wealthy individuals and industries. The For Our Freedom Amendment is supported by more than 75% of Americans of every political persuasion. With this foundation in place, we can work together toward sensible healthcare reform that centers the health and well-being of the American people alongside the well-being of the healthcare industry.

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