9.29.20 / Updates

Let’s Strengthen The Coverage Options That Are Already Working For Americans, Not Start Over

MEMORANDUM

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Lauren Crawford Shaver, The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future
RE: Let’s Strengthen The Coverage Options That Are Already Working For Americans, Not Start Over
DATE: September 29, 2020

Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care. During this critical time, we should build on and improve what’s working where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together to expand access to coverage and care – not start over.   

Today, hundreds of millions of Americans have access to health care plans that cover essential benefits – like preventive care, prescription drugs, and emergency services – regardless of pre-existing conditions, and everyone is guaranteed to be treated when their life or health is in danger. A new report shows nearly all Americans can benefit from these options: 

  • 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. 

Recent reporting also notes how coverage options through the health insurance marketplaces are expanding to meet growing demand during this critical time.  Bruce Japsen of Forbes writes, “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.” 

Meanwhile, 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

At the same time, polling shows the vast majority of Americans with employer provided coverage are satisfied and support building on what’s working in health care rather than starting over with a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system like the public option.   

  • 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 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.


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