ICYMI: Our Health Care System Is Providing Access To Quality Coverage Options; Let’s Strengthen It, Not Start Over
WASHINGTON – As health care remains at the top of voters’ minds, a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights how private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid are working together to provide millions of Americans with access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care. The analysis examines the benefits of key provisions “that have changed the nation’s health care system, including what’s known about their impact on people’s access to affordable care and coverage.” The report finds:
- 12 million more Americans are eligible for Medicaid in 33 states and Washington D.C.;
- 54 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions have access to care;
- Almost 2.3 million young adults are able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan; and
- Nearly 150 million Americans have access to free preventative services with no out-of-pocket costs.
Meanwhile, analysis finds that during this critical time, 79 percent of Americans who are newly uninsured are eligible for publicly-subsidized coverage. And recent reporting notes how coverage options through the health insurance marketplaces are expanding to meet growing demands. “A parade of health insurance companies are offering individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act to hundreds of new counties for 2021 … This means counties and states across the country are sure to see more health plan choices on the ACA’s public exchanges during the fall open enrollment period that begins Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 15 for those looking to purchase coverage for 2021,” Bruce Japsen of Forbes notes.
- And, a recent study from the Economic Policy Institute reiterates that “public health insurance rolls are expanding to absorb the enormous ESI coverage losses of recent months.” The study finds that “Medicaid and the individual market have proved to be key alternatives for these people, along with temporary COBRA coverage,” Fierce Healthcare reports.
As the nation works together during this critical time, polling shows the vast majority of Americans with employer-provided coverage are satisfied with it and support building on what’s working in health care to expand access to coverage and care:
- The fourth edition of Voter Vitals – a tracking poll conducted nationwide and in 2020 battleground states by Locust Street Group for the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future – finds that “68% of voters are unwilling to pay any more for health care and 65% are unwilling to pay any more in taxes to create the public option,” and a supermajority of Americans (65 percent) prefer to build on our current health system rather than create the public option (35 percent).
- The Kaiser Family Foundation finds the current health care law is “gaining in popularity,” and that threatening to repeal it “has become a political liability.”
- And a recent survey by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finds that Americans “are still more likely to prefer the private sector than the government on driving innovation in health care, improving quality and … providing coverage,” The Associated Press reports.
Let’s build on and improve what’s working where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together instead of starting over with a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system that would force Americans to pay more for worse care.