The Biggest Problems with Healthcare

November 7, 2019

A new survey reveals Americans’ views on Medicare for All, Obamacare, the state of healthcare, Medicare, and healthcare access for undocumented immigrants.

InsuranceQuotes.com recently released the results of its 2020 State of Healthcare and Politics Report and survey data unveils Americans’ preferences, concerns, and knowledge related to Medicare for All, Obamacare, the state of healthcare, Medicare’s risk of going bankrupt, and healthcare access for undocumented immigrants. 

According to the report, 62% of Americans “most strongly support” a U.S. healthcare system that includes both public and private insurance, while 25% favor a Medicare For All system that ends private insurance and 9% favor a system that includes only private insurance. In addition, 58% believe that undocumented immigrants should have health insurance access, while 39% believe they should not. 

“Medicare For All is obviously a much-talked about proposal, with buzz and support behind it, as well as its share of questions and opposition. The data shows that if Medicare For All means that private insurance is eliminated, the American people are not currently ready for that,” says Jason Hargraves, managing editor at insuranceQuotes.com. “As the election approaches, the candidates will have to solidify their plans and then make their case.”

Additional study findings include:

  • 50% of Americans say that since President Trump took office, the U.S. healthcare system has stayed about the same in quality, while 28% say worse and 18% say better.

  • 43% assert that Medicare is at risk of going bankrupt in the future, while 43% assert that it is not.

  • 34% are unaware that Obamacare is still in effect.

The report is a follow-up to the 2019 State of Healthcare and Politics Report, released last October, which found that 41% said they do not know what healthcare open enrollment is, and 14% falsely said it was cancelled.

Nick DiUlio, analyst at insuranceQuotes.com, says that each year, the study focuses on different topics that happen to be important in that year.

Related: Studies Suggest ACA Helps with Healthcare Disparities

“Last year we looked at perception on the ACA and open enrollment,” DiUlio tells Managed Healthcare Executive. “People were misinformed or underinformed. This year we focused on perceptions or desires of what type of healthcare system people want this year.”

In response to some of the study’s findings, DiUlio believes some Americans have become unaware that Obamacare is still in effect because it may have to do with the ways the Trump Administration has done what it can to weaken the ACA and not promote or educate the public on Obamacare.

In addition to findings related to why Americans favor a public-private hybrid Healthcare System over Medicare For All, DiUlio says people are nervous to go to one extreme to another, although public and private are a mixture of healthcare.

Lastly, he shares that a number of people support undocumented immigrants to receive access to health insurance because it may be a “humanitarian and economic component.”

“There are a lot of people who understand an unhealthy environment or population will have a negative impact on country,” he says. “There is a significant amount of (undocumented immigrants) here and in the workforce. If they don’t get the care they need, it’s not a positive thing for our country.”

DiUlio also clears the air about rumors that Medicare being at risk of going bankrupt.

“People have asked if Medicare was at risk of going bankrupt,” he says. “What is important is that Medicare cannot go bankrupt. It’s a budget item that requires funding every year. If it were in financial trouble, there are ways of funding it. (Medicare) will remain. It can’t happen and will not happen.”

The 2020 open enrollment period-which is the timeframe when people can enroll in a health insurance plan for 2020 coverage-runs from November 1 through December 15.

Briana Contreras is associate editor for Managed Healthcare Executive.