Healthcare and the 2024 Election | AHIP 2024


CNN political commentators Scott Jennings and Van Jones briefly touched on the upcoming election’s impact on healthcare at the annual AHIP meeting in Las Vegas.

CNN political commentators talked about the November 2024 election at the last keynote session at the annual AHIP meeting in Las Vegas. But healthcare was almost an afterthought.

Mike Tuffin, president and CEO of AHIP, moderated the discussion and the impact of the upcoming election on healthcare was the final question he put to Scott Jennings and Van Jones in the last five minutes of the session. 

Scott Jennings

Scott Jennings

Jennings, a conservative senior political commentator, explained employers and voters are not happy about how much they pay for health insurance. “Voters are not happy about what they think they’re getting in return. Employers and small businesses do not feel like they're able to maneuver in this environment right now. It's become a massive use of the balance sheet for most companies,” he commented.

Most people, Jennings pointed out, are paying more for many things. “At the end of the day, it's a bottom line issue.”

These comments echo the findings of a survey by KFF earlier this year, which found that healthcare costs are a top issue for voters. In this survey, 86% of respondents say they are worried about the cost of healthcare services and 83% said they are worried about medical bills. Many also worry about financial debt; 70% of adults are very or somewhat worried a medical or dental bill will put them into debt.

The KFF survey found that voters who have trouble affording their monthly bills are more likely than those who can afford their bills to say it is very important for the 2024 presidential candidates to talk about economic and healthcare related issues such as inflation, affordability of healthcare, prescription drug costs, the future of Medicaid, and student loan debt.

Earlier in the AHIP keynote, the conversation focused on the economy. Inflation is starting to ease. The Consumer Price Indexhas indicated that inflation was flat for the last few months. Retailers such as Target, Walmart and Giant Food have lowered prices on some products.

Van Jones

Van Jones

“People are struggling and juggling,” Jones, CNN host, author, and founder of Dream Machine, a nonprofit innovation lab, said early in the discussion. “Food prices have been sticky on the high side, and housing prices and rents have been sticky on the high side.”

Regarding healthcare, Jones pointed that more people now have health insurance. In 2010, he said, 20% of Black Americans did not have insurance; that number is now 10%. Latinos and Hispanic Americans had an uninsurance rate of 30% in 2010; it’s 18% now.

Jones also pointed to the efforts of President Joseph Biden to lower drug costs. He did not mention specific efforts, but President Biden did include several measures to address the prices of prescription drugs in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. These include Medicare drug price negotiation, a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on Part D plans and reduced insulin copays.

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