March 23, 2022 | Updates

The Strength and Opportunity Within Our Health Care System 

WASHINGTON – As we mark 12 years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), strengthening and building on our health care system where private coverage, Medicare, and Medicaid work together, it’s notable how many millions more Americans now have access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care: 

  • Millions of Americans rely on our current system for access to care. According to the latest figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation: 158 million Americans receive coverage through their employer, 18.7 million hold non-group coverage, 45.3 million receive coverage through Medicare, 63.2 million receive coverage through Medicaid and CHIP, and 4.4 million receive coverage through the military. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 09/14/21
  • The public-private cooperation in our current system has helped to keep the uninsured rate stable and provide Americans access to coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Axios, 11/01/21

There is certainly room to continue to improve our health care system – making sure every American has access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care, no matter where they live or how much they earn. However, the path forward is not to start over after all of these improvements over the last 12 years. Research and analysts agree that government-controlled health insurance systems like the public option, Medicare at 60, and Medicare for All would have unaffordable, unintended consequences: 

  • 1.3 million individuals that would qualify for “Medicare at 60” are currently covered by a plan on the current marketplaces. Nearly 70 percent of this group currently receive subsidies and could end up paying more after transitioning to Medicare, particularly those with incomes above 135 percent of the poverty line, who would be required to pay Part B and Part D premiums. (Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D., Tom Church, and Daniel L. Heil, 06/23/21
  • Medicare for All could put the jobs of over 1.2 million Americans in the health care workforce at risk. This decrease in the health care workforce could have severe impacts on access to care for patients across the nation. (FTI Consulting, 1/10/20

American voters continue to support building on and improving what’s working in health care rather than starting over from scratch by creating unaffordable, new government-controlled health insurance systems. According to a March 2022 nationwide tracking poll conducted by Locust Street Group, 64 percent of voters prefer building on our current system rather than creating the public option, and 66 percent prefer building on our current system instead of opening up Medicare. 



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