Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of Protecting Americans’ Coverage Together (PACT), a campaign aimed at strengthening support for the private health coverage that millions of Americans rely on for their health, while raising awareness around the serious threats posed by a Medicare buy-in or public option.
PACT will elevate the voices of employers and employees around meaningful reforms that would reinforce the benefits of the current employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) system rather than resorting to highly disruptive changes that would undermine health care coverage for millions of Americans and their families.
“An overwhelming majority of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance are satisfied with their coverage, and it’s easy to see why,” said Suzanne P. Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The flexibility of it allows companies to tailor benefits and coverage to the needs of their workforce, which is important as our nation confronts a pandemic that is affecting different communities, industries, and families in different ways. Now is the time to bolster the employer-sponsored health insurance, not dismantle it.”
ESI provides robust, affordable coverage for 180 million1 families and retirees, including broad, robust networks which provide access to major hospitals, academic medical centers and a variety of providers. Recently, Congress recognized the critical role of the ESI program during the current COVID-19 public health crisis by providing funding support and assistance so American workers could maintain their health coverage.
Yet as federal and state policymakers consider broader health and marketplace reforms, a public option or Medicare buy-in would erode the ESI program and destabilize coverage across major insurance markets for millions of individuals.
A research report from Matrix Global Advisors, released today by the U.S. Chamber highlights the negative economic effects of a Medicare buy-in or public option, including:
- A decade after the introduction of a public option, 2 million people insured through the individual market could lose access to private plans;
- Medicare buy-in may not cover as much as private insurance and could leave workers with high out-of-pocket costs or the need to purchase supplemental insurance;
- A Medicare buy-in would cause premiums for those remaining in the individual market to rise between 2 and 10 percent.
Read more from the report here.
Through research and advocacy efforts, PACT will promote the benefits of fostering a strong and robust ESI program, one that has the ability to meet the unique needs of individuals and provide essential coverage to Americans close to retirement.