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Can building on the ACA bring down health care costs?

Written by Diane Archer

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a new report looking at trends in public opinion on health care reform. Its findings suggest that most Americans don’s know that building on the ACA will neither provide them with access to the care they need nor bring down their health care costs. Among other things, building on the ACA keeps our current system with $600 billion in administrative waste in tact.

KFF finds that voters who lean Democratic are more inclined to want to build on the ACA than replace the ACA with Medicare for All. Voters appear to be looking for incremental change. They favor an expansion of Medicare. They don’t appear to understand that if you leave private health insurers in place, you do not achieve the savings needed to expand benefits and reduce health care spending.

Americans also appear to lack a good understanding of how different reform proposals would affect their out-of-pocket health care costs. They do not appreciate that Medicare for All would save middle-income households about 10 percent of their income. A public option would save them far less, if anything; it would continue to impose high premiums, deductibles and co-insurance costs.

That said support for Medicare for All has grown appreciably over time, according to Kaiser. It was not until February 2016 that a majority of Americans supported national health insurance. Today, more Americans favor Medicare for All than oppose it. Not surprisingly, three in four Democrats support Medicare for All and seven in ten Republicans oppose it.

Here’s more from Just Care:



  • Not clear whether Donna Archer is advocating. I support a buy-in to Medicare for those who want it and a “LEAVE-IT-ALONE” position for those who are satisfied with their current coverage. What is so wrong with this? Get the question right, even if the answer you get is not what you want to hear, and you’ll know what to campaign on — and what to deliver.

    • The question is how to bring down health care costs. Premiums are exorbitant and increasingly unaffordable. Deductibles and copays are often unaffordable for people who need a lot of care. A buy-in gives people more choices but does virtually nothing to make health care affordable. The buy-in keeps high administrative costs, high deductibles and copays, that make care unaffordable for a lot of people with complex conditions.

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