This week, NAHU formally joined the Partnership for America's Health Care Future, a coalition of industry stakeholders to promote employer-sponsored health coverage and preserve Medicare, Medicaid, and other existing health programs. The group was formed in response to the growing interest among the public and legislators to adopt “Medicare for All” or similar single-payer programs at either the federal or state level. In addition to NAHU, the group is comprised of providers, hospitals, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies that are committed to delivering affordability, expanding options, improving access, and fostering innovation in the U.S. healthcare system.NAHU is committed to preserving the private health insurance market amid growing concerns by consumers over increasing instability, premiums and cost-sharing, and decreasing choices. As frustrations with these conditions continue, it has led to a growing interest in some version of a single-payer healthcare system, either through incremental approaches such as a public option or Medicare or Medicaid buy-in, or a more sweeping federal takeover of the entire healthcare system to implement a single standardized government-run plan. The growing interest is particularly evident in the dramatic increase in support of legislation at the federal level, including the House “Medicare for All” bill that has attracted a record 123 co-sponsors (half of the Democratic caucus) and the Senate’s version that has 16 co-sponsors. More incremental proposals, such as Medicare Part E, Medicare-X, or the State Public Option plans have attracted similar levels of interest among Democratic legislators.
These proposals are effectively precluded from being enacted under the current Republican controlled House and Senate and Trump Administration. However, as national politics and representation in Congress changes, it could be possible for future policymakers to turn towards these policies. Among the coalition’s priorities is to educate the general public, current and future policymakers on the implications of enacting such policies and the detriment they could have on consumer choice. As a member of the coalition, NAHU will be actively advocating on behalf of your clients and the private health insurance market, and we will continue to advocate on the important role of health insurance agents, brokers, and consultants in providing valued guidance to understanding the choices available in the private market.