December 23, 2019 | Updates

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care

WASHINGTON – After the higher taxes and harmful consequences of new government-controlled health insurance systems were highlighted for Americans during last week’s presidential debate, voters throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to oppose a one-size-fits-all system that will force American families to pay more to wait longer for worse care.

Anthony Achin, Democratic Activist, Massachusetts:

… Whether you call this Medicare for All or single-payer healthcare, it’s something Americans don’t want and America can’t afford.  A government takeover of insurance would be politically disastrous … Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that only 37% of Americans support having the government as the nation’s only insurance company.  In the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, there is even less support for Medicare for All.

… According to the Urban Institute, a left-leaning think tank, Medicare for All will cost $34 trillion over a ten year period.  That number is so large that it’s hard to understand, so here’s some context.  $34 trillion is more than our government currently spends on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security combined.  $34 trillion is more than the entirety of the income tax payments the government will take in over a decade.  $34 trillion is even more than America’s entire 2018 Gross Domestic Product.  There is simply no way to pay for Medicare for All without massive middle-class tax increases or unprecedented levels of deficit spending.

… Democrats should be focusing on introducing practical, workable policy solutions that will not saddle the American people with higher taxes or threaten access to health care for anyone.

Keith Hennessey, Iowa:  

… The problem is, none of the proposed solutions to transition our private health insurance system to one controlled by the government would serve Iowans or the country well.  In fact, these systems would only undermine our ability to offer high-quality care …Medicare for All is a popular slogan.  But when the discussion goes deeper, the perception quickly changes.  A new national poll shows that only one in 10 registered voters want the equivalent of Medicare for All if it means abolishing private health insurance plans – and that’s exactly what the proposal does … under Medicare for All significant taxes would be imposed, including a 4% tax on nearly all households and a large increase in payroll taxes.

… [A] Medicare public option would inevitably put our system on the same path …This isn’t a catchall system – we’d have longer delays, challenges with access, and more unaffordable services– reducing options until only a government option remained …No matter what you call it –Medicare for All, a public option, or single payer – would inevitably balloon out of control and crowd existing plans out of the market.  Not only would they fail to address our number one concern – rising health care costs – they would end up raising taxes, inflating premiums, and lowering the quality of care.

David Black, President & CEO, Harrisburg Regional Chamber, Pennsylvania:

… An estimated 1.8 million people who work for health insurance companies or local insurance agencies, or in administrative support in hospitals and doctors’ offices, would likely lose their jobs while government ranks would grow exponentially to administer the Medicare for All … Layoffs will ripple across local economies,in small towns and rural communities where hospitals and other health care providers are the major employers, in places like Harrisburg where Highmark, Capital Blue, Aetna and other health insurance providers are major employers and major contributors to community based organizations.

… Our health care system can and should be improved, but throwing out our current system will only lead to economic pain, disruption in service and chaos.  The better approach is to fix and improve what we already have in place to increase coverage, hold down costs, and retain patient choice of doctors and treatment options and keep the current Medicare system strong for senior citizens.

Dan Walterman, Iowa:

Several healthcare reform proposals being considered would significantly change the way that Iowans receive their health insurance.  One of these proposals – Medicare for All – would eliminate private insurance and create a healthcare system fully run by the government.  Now, a proposal called the Medicare “public option” is being discussed as an alternative.  But this proposal would also have far reaching impacts – and according to a new study, would drive out most of the private plans we know today.

Not only would the public option change the Medicare system as we understand it, the proposal would create government-run plans acting alongside the existing private marketplace.  A study by FTI Consulting and the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future further explains: The public option would create government healthcare plans, which individuals can buy into.  These plans would mostly likely be set up with artificial prices determined by the government, forming a “two-tier” system.  Because government payments pay providers much lower than private plans, the public option would “crowd out” private coverage and eventually lead to a one-size-fits-all system – just like Medicare for All but on a longer timeline, reducing consumer choice and decreasing quality of care.

The study found that by 2050, Iowa could end up being one of over 30 states to likely lose all private insurance plans.  When examining the changes in our healthcare system, it’s important to look at the long-term impacts of your own plan



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