WASHINGTON, DC (September 27, 2018): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – responded today to HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s remarks to the Nashville Health Care Council, where he cautioned against so-called “Medicare for All” proposals.
In his speech, the Secretary called Medicare for All a “misnomer,” cautioning that “What’s really being proposed is a single government system for every American that won’t resemble Medicare at all … Under Medicare for All, no one’s even promising that you can keep your plan, or keep your doctor. The main thrust of Medicare for All is giving you a new government plan and taking away your other choices.”
CAHC President Joel White released the below statement following Azar’s speech:
“At its core, ‘Medicare for All’ really means choice for none. CAHC stands firmly with Secretary Azar and the administration in its opposition to such disastrous proposals,” said CAHC President Joel White. “The U.S. already spends more than 17 percent of GDP on health care with too little to show in the way of results. By the most conservative estimates, Medicare for All would cause spending to skyrocket, adding over $32 trillion to federal budgetary commitments in the first decade of implementation. It would replace the private funds spent by employers with taxpayer dollars. Such robbing Peter to pay Paul policies would bend the health care cost curve in precisely the wrong direction because they take away most incentives to be prudent. Ultimately, consumers would pay more through higher taxes and premiums – driving costs even higher than they are now – or through reduced access to lifesaving care. This is why these ideas have failed at the state level before.”
White continued, “Even the Washington Post warns of Medicare for All’s ‘astonishing’ price tag, adding that ‘medical industry players, including doctors, would likely have to get paid less and patients would have to accept different standards of access and comfort.’ This is a stunningly unserious proposal at a time when Americans urgently need workable solutions to address the lack of affordable health coverage. Congress ought to be working to address uncompetitive markets, reform the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, unleash the potential of value-based care, and combat the underlying drivers of our unsustainable medical cost trend. We have engaged with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who know this to be true and we look forward to working with them in good faith on market-based solutions to lower the cost of health care for all Americans.”