Public Support for a Public Plan Option

April 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm 3 comments

The Kaiser Family Foundation released its April polling information last week and guess what? The most popular reform option was to expand Medicare to the uninsured aged 55 – 64. That reform is strongly favored by 53%, and another 26% of those polled say they somewhat favor such an expansion.

A public plan option is favored by 67% of those polled, though only 34% are strongly in favor of a public plan. Additionally, 57% of people questioned thought having a public plan option would cause the private plans to do a better job.

Do we think that Congress will listen?

Entry filed under: Health Care Reform, Medicare, Public vs. Private Health Coverage.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brad Plebani  |  April 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Other polls indicate similar public support for public health plans, including Medicare. A January, 2009 Harris Poll found that 63%% of those polled support Medicare “a great deal” and another 27% support it “somewhat”, as compared with other governmental programs. An October 2008 Harris Poll found that 41% of those polled think that health insurance companies were most responsible for the rising cost of health care, as contrasted with 16% who think the government is responsible. Clearly, the public understands the cost-saving benefits of a public plan, and it backs public health care plans. Also, readers should take a look at the Weekly Alert for April 24, 2009 issued by the Center for Medicare Advocacy (http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/Reform_09_04.23.PublicPlan.htm) and a piece by Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/can-health-insurers-whine-louder-than-bankers/), both of which discuss that the opposition of private insurers to a public plan exists because private plans are less efficient (and also less attractive to the public as a source of health insurance) than a public plan. The public appears to be ahead of some of our elected officials on this issue. Let’s hope our elected officials catch up, and soon!

    Reply
  • 2. A Chiplin  |  April 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I’m cautiously optimistic. The main thing is for folks from across the Country to call and write their Senators and demand a public plan that is comprehensive in what it covers and broadly available.

    Reply
  • 3. G Konen  |  June 1, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    If the Medicare Advantage plans would offer a plan to the public
    with premiums that are reasonable it would also help offset
    costs to the Medicare program. Or perhaps look at
    Ala carte plans to individuals, as auto insurance is today,
    where an individual could tailor a plan to their needs and budget
    would be ideal. Add or delete maternitiy benefits, vision, dental,
    high-risk umbrella options, as well. This is the free-market
    engine that will make it affordable and accessible to all amerians
    and visiting foreigners in our country. It would put the control into the individuals control and not opt for the one-size fits all that the govt would impose.

    Reply

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