The Biden administration is making great strides toward the liberal goal of government controlling American health care.
Passage of the American Rescue Plan included a big leap that could lure millions more people away from employer coverage into Obamacare by lifting the income cap on eligibility. The administration wants to make the two-year expansion in the bill permanent in the coming “infrastructure” bill. Brian Blase explained the damage and costs in “Expanded ACA Subsidies: Exacerbating Health Inflation and Income Inequality.”
But the Left surely knows how to create momentum for its policies. A new survey of more than 300 large private employers released yesterday says there is “a significant amount of agreement with the need for greater government roles in providing coverage and addressing health care costs.”
Not so fast. It found “some level of agreement” with policy changes to create a public option, lower the Medicare eligibility age, impose price controls on pharmaceuticals, and cap hospital prices, but there wasn’t a majority of “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” support for any of this.
Yet the survey, conducted by the Purchaser (formerly “Pacific”) Business Group on Health (PBGH) and the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), purports to find: “Overall, large shares of respondents agreed that a greater role for the government in providing coverage and containing health care costs would better for their business (83%) and better for their employees (86%).”
Can they possibly believe that putting the government in charge will make health insurance less expensive? Laughingly, it found—but this isn’t in their press release—that “43% said that the government does not have a great track record of managing big programs effectively.”
You think? Maybe they read Ed Haislmaier latest paper for Heritage documenting what happened with health insurance premium and deductibles under Obamacare: Premiums doubled and deductibles now are so high that many people with insurance can’t afford to access care.
This new big business survey is, of course, getting red carpet coverage, even though many other business groups that represent millions more employees weren’t part of it—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and millions of small businesses, for starters.
A more representative survey was conducted for the Council for Affordable Health Insurance asking actual people who would be impacted what they think about government vs employer coverage options.
Given a choice between keeping job-based coverage, ACA plans, or Medicaid, a whopping 62% in the CAHI study said they wanted to keep their employer coverage. Only 10% would pick the ACA and just 6%, Medicaid. And the ratios were similar among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
So don’t be swayed by this glitzy Kaiser/PBGH survey. It is misleading and not representative.
And don’t miss this article by Sally Pipes, who was raised in Canada under its government-run health care system and knows of what she speaks about government-run health care. She writes in Newsweek about where all this government control is leading:
“Under Medicare for All, physicians would have to accept Medicare’s rates for every single patient they see. Those payments would be much lower than what doctors currently receive from private insurers—40 percent lower.
“One study estimates Medicare for All would lead to a nationwide loss of more than 44,000 doctors by 2050.”
Beware. Many more incremental steps will very likely take us down this slippery slope.