TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes legislation that would create or lead to a national, single-payer, government-run healthcare system, including “Medicare for All” proposals (H.R. 1384) and “Medicare Buy-In” proposals (H.R. 1346). These proposals would limit access, increase costs for employers and workers, and inhibit innovation. Members that do not cosponsor this legislation will receive credit as part of the leadership component of their rating in the Chamber’s “How They Voted” Congressional scorecard.
Medicare for All would eliminate privately funded health plans, including the employer-sponsored coverage enjoyed by over 181 million Americans. Medicare Buy-In would erode the employer-sponsored system by disrupting insurance pools and increasing the level of cost-shifting onto private healthcare that already occurs under the existing Medicare system.
Both Medicare for All and Medicare Buy-In would limit access as providers struggle with the artificially low reimbursement rates under Medicare. It is worth noting that for this reason, the Affordable Care Act did not attempt to impose Medicare rates on insurance provided through the exchanges. Expansion of Medicare rates would also reduce resources available for medical innovation.
Rather than pursuing a government-run, single-payer health care system, policymakers should work to address the problems in our current system by taking the following steps:
- Help reduce costs for all Americans by moving towards a more value-based system that rewards outcomes and limits costs, and by repealing the Cadillac tax, the health insurance tax, and the medical device tax;
- Help Americans with out-of-pocket costs through expansion of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements;
- Expand coverage options through mechanisms like Association Health Plans;
- Solidify the ACA’s exchanges through the use of risk corridors and funding cost-sharing reduction payments.
The Chamber looks forward to working with Congress on legislation that improves access to and reduces the cost of healthcare, and which preserves the employer-sponsored system.
Neil L. Bradley