Evidence Mounts To Build On What’s Working In Health Care
WASHINGTON – As the federal government implements the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which The Associated Press reports is “the biggest expansion of federal help for health insurance since the Obama-era Affordable Care Act,” affordable health coverage and care are now available to millions more Americans, and the evidence continues to show that the time has never been better to build on and improve what’s working, where private coverage, Medicare and Medicaid work together to expand access to coverage and care.
As health care leaders work together to lower costs, protect patient choice, expand access, improve quality and foster innovation, The New York Times reports:
Federal officials have reprogrammed Healthcare.gov, making new benefits available to tens of millions of Americans, weeks after Congress authorized spending billions on additional health law subsidies. The Biden administration has doubled Obamacare’s advertising budget to get the word out, and will now spend $100 million telling Americans about newly affordable options. Nearly everyone with an Affordable Care Act health plan can now qualify for increased financial help with premiums by going back to the website. Many Americans who buy their own insurance outside the A.C.A. marketplaces may also qualify for substantial help, and may benefit from reviewing options and switching to an eligible plan. Uninsured Americans also qualify. For some, the savings could be significant: A 64-year-old who earns $30,000, for example, would see monthly premiums drop to $85 from $195 for a midlevel plan. A family of four that earns $40,000 would go from paying a $136 premium to nothing at all. More than six million people, or about three in five currently uninsured Americans in Healthcare.gov states, will be able to find health plans that won’t cost them anything in premiums, according to a new government analysis (the government will fully pay the monthly premium).
A new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) finds that “the number of people eligible for a subsidy to purchase Marketplace coverage has increased 20 percent from 18.1 million to 21.8 million with passage of” ARPA, while “the majority of uninsured people (63 percent) are now eligible for financial assistance through the Marketplaces, Medicaid, or Basic Health Plans. In fact, more than 4 out of 10 uninsured people are eligible for a free or nearly free health plan through one of these programs.”
At the same time, separate steps are already underway to reopen federal health care marketplaces, eliminate ineffective red tape that can prevent Americans from accessing coverage options and urge the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
The sixth edition of Voter Vitals – a nationwide tracking poll conducted by Locust Street Group for the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future – shows the vast majority of voters prefer for lawmakers to build on the current health care system rather than starting over with a new government-controlled health insurance system, such as the public option. The survey also finds most voters are unwilling to pay any more in taxes to create the public option and are concerned about its impact on access to quality care.
The findings of Voter Vitals track closely with those of other national polling, including a recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), which reveals that the majority of Americans have a favorable view of current health care law and want the Biden Administration and Congress to build on what’s working in health care, where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together to expand access to health coverage and care.