Health care was a major focus at the third Democratic debate last month, and for good reason. Regardless of income level, age, gender, race or political identification, Americans are universally worried about the cost of health care, according to recent Ipsos-Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) research.

It is encouraging to see the presidential hopefuls devoting so much attention to health care, and there are specific issues consumers experience with insurance, in the hospital and at the pharmacy counter that elected leaders can address to cut costs and increase transparency in the health care system. Consumers across the country have been telling CQC their stories. These real-life examples highlight health care fails that are hurting Americans.

As consumers are plagued by surprise medical bills, rising out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and confusing hospital pricing, elected officials can help tackle these health care inequities. That’s why CQC developed a “Cut Consumer Costs” candidates guide to show candidates the specific areas in the health care system that Americans want changed, ensuring all consumers can access quality, affordable health care.

I urge the candidates to keep consumers at the forefront of the health care debate and urge all our leaders to advance policy solutions that will increase transparency and lower costs.

Donna Christensen

Catharpin, Va.

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