A new health insurance industry-backed poll shows two in three Americans “support the existing health care system” over a government-run healthcare system.
The poll from America’s Health Insurance Plans comes the same week U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) grabbed headlines with her support for “Medicare-for-All” and a comment during a CNN Town Hall where the recently declared presidential candidate mentioned patients having to wait for insurance company approvals, saying: “let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.”
But AHIP, considered the most powerful health insurance lobby, said the poll was conducted ahead of next week’s State of the Union by President Trump showing public support for the private insurer’s role in the existing system. The poll, AHIP said, showed “Americans would prefer the government to focus on making health care more affordable” with one in four preferring “the government to focus on getting more people covered.”
AHIP and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association have been ramping up their marketing, planning and lobbying ahead of the coming Medicare for All debates and candidates’ policy positions now that Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives and expansions of Medicare coverage are being proposed. Several Democrats running for President, including Harris, are also including Medicare for All in their campaigns for the presidency.
AHIP said the poll was conducted Jan. 16-18 “in conjunction with” Morning Consult from a “representative national sample of 1,756 adults with health insurance.” AHIP represents some of the biggest names in health insurance including Anthem, Cigna, Centene, several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and has been adding more members lately amid the push by Democrats toward single payer healthcare.
“Americans want health care that works, and health insurance providers are committed to delivering for them,” AHIP president and CEO Matt Eyles said in a statement accompanying the poll.
Here’s the question AHIP’s poll asked in regard to single payer healthcare:
“There are also currently many ideas about how the federal government should approach changing the health care system. Based on what you know today, if you had to choose one of the following two health care systems, which of the following options do you support more?
* The existing system where you can keep your current plan.
* A single-payer system where everyone would be enrolled in a government-run health care plan.
The AHIP poll also said: 86% said “rising costs of prescription drugs is important to them” and three in four think it’s “very important” for health insurers to cover patients with pre-existing conditions at “the same cost as others.”