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AHIP Statement On Single Payer Proposals

by David Merritt

September 13, 2017

Every American deserves affordable coverage and high-quality care. We have made real progress in ensuring more people are covered, and the care they receive gets them well when they’re sick and keeps them well when they’re healthy. But more needs to be done, especially when it comes to costs. Health care costs have been a financial anchor for too many families for too long. Everyone – including doctors, health plans, patients, and government – must come together to find solutions that deliver real results.

Let’s build on proven solutions that work – not theoretical, one-sized-fits-all approaches that don’t. Proven solutions like value-based care; new tools, technology, and treatments driven by data; social services that coordinate around patients; market competition that drives down costs; community partnerships between the private sector and public programs; and more effective approaches to treat chronic illnesses.

Today we’re seeing more support for private market solutions, not less. Take Medicare Advantage and Medicaid managed care as examples. Today, about a third of all Medicare beneficiaries choose to buy coverage from a private health plan rather than traditional Medicare. They choose private plans because these plans deliver more choice, better services, and better value. On Medicaid, 39 states are working with private health plans to serve 70% of all Medicaid beneficiaries. Why? Because the private market delivers real results for states, beneficiaries, and the taxpayers who support them.

The most effective way to ensure affordable care and coverage is to strengthen the private market’s ability to serve the American people, whether it’s building upon private plans serving nearly 180 million people who get their coverage through their employer or the tens of millions who depend on private plans that partner with public programs.

Whether it’s called single-payer or Medicare For All, government-controlled health care cannot work. It will eliminate choice, undermine quality, put a chill on medical innovation, and place an even heavier burden on hardworking taxpayers. We should build on private-sector successes, not abandon them. Let’s work together to make health care truly affordable for the American people.

-David Merritt, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives