October 13, 2022 | Updates

ICYMI: Our Current System is Working While Government-Controlled Proposals Remain Unaffordable and Ineffective    

WASHINGTON – Recent polling from Gallup shows Americans are concerned with health care costs and the availability of Medicare in the future but believe our current health care system is delivering on access and quality of care. Research continues to show that Americans believe building on the current system is the most effective way to improve affordability and access to care instead of creating unaffordable, new government-controlled health insurance systems like the public option or opening up seniors’ Medicare to younger Americans.  

Gallup found that:  

  • For our current system, 62 percent of Americans rated access to care positively or satisfactorily and 83 percent gave the quality of care higher grades. (The Hill, 10/06/22) 
  • 1 in 3 adult Americans are concerned about the ability to pay for healthcare. (Fierce Healthcare, 10/06/22) 
  • One in 2 respondents are concerned about the ability to pay for healthcare as they age. (Fierce Healthcare, 10/06/22) 
  • Two in 3 Americans under the age of 65 are concerned Medicare will not exist by the time they need it. (Fierce Healthcare, 10/06/22) 

To improve affordability, expand access, and maintain quality of care, building on the current health care system is the most effective path, not creating unaffordable, new government-controlled health insurance systems such as the public option and Medicare expansion. 

  • Lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60 could add $42.6 billion to the federal deficit in 2023 and increase 10-year deficits by as much as $452 billion (excluding interest costs). (Tom Church and Daniel L. Heil, 4/27/22)    
    • However, the Medicare program is already at-risk. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that in “the 2020 Medicare Trustees report, the actuaries projected that assets in the Part A trust fund will be depleted in 2026, just five years from now.” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 06/17/22) 
  • The public option could harm the existing health care insurance system and cause premium increases for currently insured Americans, force a reduction in coverage options, and reduce access to care for seniors and low-income families. (Congressional Budget Office, 04/07/21)  
  • Meanwhile, improvements to current law are already helping to lower costs for Americans and increase access to health care.   
    • 3.2 million Americans selected a plan for $10 or less per month after the additional subsidies provided by the American Rescue Plan. (Department of Health & Human Services, 01/27/22)  

Building on and improving what’s working in health care remains the most effective and efficient way to expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care. Rather than creating unaffordable, government-controlled health insurance systems, policymakers should continue to focus on solutions that build on and improve what’s working in health care. 



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