March 28, 2023 | Updates

WTAS: Government-Run Systems are not the Future of Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As some in Congress continue to debate a health care agenda and future policy goals, sweeping legislation that would create an unaffordable new government-controlled health insurance system like the public option is nowhere to be found. At the same time, polling shows American voters prefer a health care system based on private insurance instead of a government-controlled system.

Members in the majority have made it clear – proposals like Medicare for All are currently off the table, as most Democrats favor a policy that builds on what’s working in health care rather than starting over from scratch.   

  • “’There’s a lot more people with coverage today,’ [Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)] said. ‘We have been successful in bending the cost curve; it’s not spiraling upwards out of control like it was a decade ago. So I think there is some level of decreased angst about health care.’” (Axios, 03/16/23) 
  • “Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is now the chairman of the HELP Committee. But even he isn’t putting a ton of emphasis on Medicare for All these days. ‘We don’t have the votes,’ he told the New York Times last month.” (Axios, 03/16/23) 
  • “On a larger scale, there was a time (2019, not all that long ago) when it seemed like all Democrats could do was argue about full-on Medicare for All versus variations of the public option.” (Axios, 03/16/23) 
    • “That focus on coverage, as opposed to costs, faded even before Republicans won the House, making the ideas even more dead for the moment.” (Axios, 03/16/23) 

Americans are also saying that though the government is responsible for ensuring access to health coverage and care for every American, a health care system based on private insurance is preferred, compared to a government-controlled system.  

  • “Americans continue to hold a nuanced view of the U.S. healthcare system, with a majority saying the government should ensure that all Americans have coverage but preferring that the system be funded privately.” 
    • “57% [of Americans] think the government should be responsible to ensure coverage for all Americans.” (Gallup, 01/23/23) 
  • “At the same time that Americans see a government role in ensuring universal U.S. healthcare coverage, they prefer that the nation’s healthcare system be based on private insurance rather than run by the government.” (Gallup, 01/23/23) 
  • “Voters prefer a health care system that is not dominated by the government. And voters do not believe the way to reduce health care costs is to turn control of the system over to the government.” (Americans for Prosperity, 03/01/23) 
  • “Instead, 71% say the best way to reduce health care costs is to give Americans more choice and control over their own health care, while just 29% say increasing government control and subsidies is the better approach.” (Americans for Prosperity, 03/01/23) 

Polling continues to show that 67 percent of American voters prefer building on our current system, rather than creating unaffordable new government-controlled systems like the public option, and 76 percent of voters are unwilling to pay more for health care to create a new government health insurance system. Lawmakers in Washington should focus on building on and improving what’s working in health care, not starting over by creating unaffordable new government-controlled health insurance systems like the public option, Medicare at 60, and Medicare for All. 



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