Majority Of Large Employers Have Concerns About ‘Medicare For All’ Proposals, Survey Finds

August 20, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – A majority of large employers believe the Medicare for all proposals being touted by some White House aspirants would lower the number of uninsured in the United States, but at a cost of higher taxes and a decline in the quality of health care, a new survey has found.

The survey, conducted in May and June by the National Business Group on Health, incorporates answers from 147 large employers including in health care fields like insurance, pharmaceutical and medical products and health care providers, as well as banking and finance, technology, telecommunications and manufacturing.

Forty-nine percent of the nonprofit’s members responded.

Nearly three-quarters, or 72%, of respondents said that if some kind of Medicare for all plan were implemented, it would decrease the number of uninsured individuals.

However, 81 percent said the plan would increase tax rates, while 69% said such a plan would put the brakes on continued innovation in health care delivery and 56% said Medicare for all would decrease health care quality.

“There’s just quite a lot of concern about employers and the devil is in the details about whether these proposals would actually lead to improving cost and quality outcomes for covered family members,” said Ellen Kelsay, chief strategy officer at the National Business Group on Health, during a press briefing that accompanied the release of the survey results.

“Medicare for all” is a catch-all phrase representing a variety of health coverage proposals that would do everything from establish a national health insurance program with no competition to create a public, Medicare-like option for sale on the individual exchanges.

For several progressives running for the Democratic presidential nomination, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., the prospect of Medicare for all is almost a panacea — in fact in recent days, Sanders has doubled down and made the proposal the primary focus of his campaign.

But as Drs. Kevin Schulman and Arnold Milstein pointed out in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “finding a policy approach that insures more individuals while attenuating projected increases in health care spending remains a goal that has been elusive for more than 5 decades of U.S. policy making.”

The concerns voiced in the National Business Group on Health survey come as many health industry groups seek to stop momentum for the plans from building as Democratic presidential candidates advocating for Medicare for all criss-cross the country.

For instance, the American Hospital Association has said creating a government-run, Medicare-like health plan on the individual exchange could create the largest ever cut to hospitals – nearly $800 billion – and be disruptive to the employer-sponsored and non-group health insurance markets, while resulting in only a modest drop in the number of uninsured as compared to the 9 million Americans who would gain insurance by taking advantage of building upon the existing public/private coverage framework.

“This coverage proposal would enroll significantly fewer people than a single-payer model, and yet the reimbursement cuts would be catastrophic,” the association said.

The organization has also said that it is “deeply concerned” that a single-payer model would seriously distract from the important delivery system reform work currently underway among its members.

“Hospitals and health systems have invested billions of dollars in technology and delivery system reforms to improve care, enhance quality and reduce costs,” the association has said. “Moving to a single-payer model could stymie these efforts by, at best, diverting attention and, at worst, being deemed irrelevant if the government can simply ratchet down provider rates to achieve spending objectives.”

Brian Marcotte, president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, said in a written statement that the current health care landscape is “a new frontier” for employers.

Helping to fuel their anxiety is the fact most of those touting the current Medicare for all proposals haven’t fully explained how the system would control costs, Marcotte said.

The survey found only 16% of survey respondents said they thought health care costs for their employees would fall under a Medicare for all system, while 47% said costs for their employees would increase. Separately, 57% said health care costs would rise for the United States.

“The concern is if you’re going to cover everything, your costs will go up, and without any indication of how you’re going to manage the care or ensure that if you’re covering more it’s for evidence-based or value-based care, not just covering everything,” Marcotte said. “Employers are concerned about how you actually manage the costs under a Medicare for all scenario.”

Opinion Polls

New Poll Finds Majority of Voters Disapprove of Trump, Support Impeachment, But He Still Remains Competitive Opinion Polls
New Poll Finds Majority of Voters Disapprove of Trump, Support Impeachment, But He Still Remains Competitive
October 15, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump may be weak when it comes to job approval and public support for impeachment, but a number of factors, ranging from economy to unfavorable views toward some Democratic candidates, continue to make him competitive in 2020, a new poll finds. The... Read More

Most Americans Back Impeachment in Fox News Poll; Trump Says of Pollster: ‘They Suck’ Opinion Polls
Most Americans Back Impeachment in Fox News Poll; Trump Says of Pollster: ‘They Suck’

NEW YORK — A majority of Americans back removing President Donald Trump from office as support for impeachment surges, according to a new poll from the right-leaning Fox News. In the survey, 51% of those questioned back impeachment in the new poll, compared to just 40%... Read More

New Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Finds Majority Support Impeachment Probe Opinion Polls
New Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Finds Majority Support Impeachment Probe
October 8, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A poll just out Tuesday finds 55% of Americans believe President Donald Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are a serious matter and merit an impeachment inquiry by Congress, while 39% don’t think so. Meanwhile, when asked about the eventual outcome of the probe, 43% said... Read More

Most Californians Want Marijuana Stores in Their Communities, Poll Shows Opinion Polls
Most Californians Want Marijuana Stores in Their Communities, Poll Shows

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three years after California legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, most voters want municipalities to permit pot shops in their communities even though the vast majority of cities have outlawed them, according to a University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll... Read More

‘Free College’ Won’t Fix Barriers to Higher Education, Prosperity Education
‘Free College’ Won’t Fix Barriers to Higher Education, Prosperity
September 5, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - On the one hand, it's easy to see why some in the party would embrace so-called "free" or "debt-free" college and the forgiveness of student loans. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,  electrified younger voters with his ambitious proposals in 2016, and politics loves nothing more... Read More

Democrat McCready Holds Narrow Lead in North Carolina Special Election, New Poll Shows Elections
Democrat McCready Holds Narrow Lead in North Carolina Special Election, New Poll Shows
September 3, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Democrat Dan McCready holds a narrow lead over Republican Dan Bishop in the special election contest to represent North Carolina's 9th Congressional District, a new poll says. With precious little time left before the Sept. 10 election, a survey conducted by Harper Polling and... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top