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People care about coverage, not private plans

August 12, 2019

Topics: Quote of the Day

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams, August 9, 2019

A Business Insider poll published Thursday found that most Americans with employer-sponsored health coverage support switching over to Medicare for All, undermining the right-wing narrative that the U.S. public is wedded to private insurance plans.

The survey showed that 59 percent of respondents who have employer-provided insurance “said they would support switching their employer-based health insurance to a government plan under Medicare for All” as long as quality of coverage would remain the same or improve.

The poll also found that Americans on government-run healthcare plans such as Medicare and Medicaid are more satisfied with their coverage than those on employer-sponsored plans, which have soared in cost over the past two decades.

According to Business Insider, 57 percent of respondents on government plans said they “love” their coverage. Just 41 percent of those with employer-provided plans said the same.


Business Insider:


By Don McCanne, M.D.

People on Medicare are more supportive of their coverage than are people on employer-sponsored plans. Although some polls have shown that support for Medicare for All declines when respondents are told that they would lose their choice of private plans, this poll confirms that the majority would be fine with Medicare for All as long as the coverage is the same or better.

The single payer model of Medicare for All, as in the Sanders and Jayapal bills, would, in fact, provide significantly better coverage (more benefits, choice of providers, and no deductibles). If the pollsters really wanted the truth, rather than asking a followup question about losing choice of private plans, they should be asking about preference for better benefits under Medicare for All. It is disingenuous to say that people want to keep their employer-sponsored plans with fewer benefits and less stability of coverage when they could have more complete coverage under Medicare for All, guaranteed for life. But people do have to have a better understanding of the single payer model of Medicare for All. We still have more work to do.

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About the Commentator, Don McCanne

Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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