June 3, 2019 | Updates

ICYMI – Partnership In The Hill: ‘Government Health Insurance Systems Pose Serious Risks To Americans’

WASHINGTON – In a new op-ed published by The Hill, Lauren Crawford Shaver of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future debunks claims by supporters of Medicare for all, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), that a majority of Americans support their plan “to repeal the foundations of American health care — including employer-provided coverage, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – and replace it all with a costly, one-size-fits-all, government-run, health-care system,” noting that this rhetoric “is misleading at best, as polling makes clear that many Americans are not aware of what ‘Medicare for All’ actually is, and when they are informed of what it means for them, a majority oppose it.”

Not only are most Americans not on board with Medicare for all, the legislation is also faltering in Congress as experts, including analysts at the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), continue to expose its negative consequences.  However – as Crawford Shaver notes – so-called “moderate” fallbacks like “buy-in” or “public option” proposals are actually government-run insurance systems that ultimately lead to the same one-size-fits-all government-run systems Americans oppose.  She writes:

Assessing the bill’s prospects, Bloomberg reported that Medicare for All “is hitting serious obstacles in the U.S. House … [and] the effort appears unlikely to go much further,” as the legislation “hasn’t gained much support since its release in February,” while POLITICO reported that “House Democratic leaders, who worry Medicare for All could hurt the party with moderate voters, have allowed hearings on the plan, but they haven’t committed to floor votes.”  That’s good news for patients, families and taxpayers, but Americans should be aware that other, so-called “moderate” proposals — like “buy-in” or “public option” systems — would also cost taxpayers’ hard-earned money, put families’ access to and quality of care at risk, and ultimately lead to the same unaffordable one-size-fits-all system they reject.  These new government-run insurance systems are intentionally designed to be “stepping stones” to one-size-fits-all health care — a fact acknowledged even by those in favor of such proposals, including one U.S. Senator who admitted it would cause the “slow death” of employer-provided and other private coverage and serve as an “on ramp to a single-payer system.”  Recent research provides important insight into the negative impacts a new government insurance system would have on Americans’ access to quality care. One study found that hospitals “could face financial peril,” and its affects could even “force the closure of essential hospitals,” while another study found that a government insurance system like “buy in” or a “public option” would “compound financial stresses [hospitals] are already facing, potentially impacting access to care and provider quality.”  In the end, these risky government insurance systems would cause Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.

“Families, patients and taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to suffer these consequences,” she concludes, noting that “with roughly 90 percent of Americans now covered, there are far more sensible ways to extend coverage to millions more.  Rather than embracing costly proposals like these, which would upend our care and start over from scratch with a one-size-fits-all government-run system, our leaders should be building upon what works in American health care, while coming together to fix what doesn’t.”



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