Protecting Americans’ Coverage Together (PACT) is a campaign aimed at strengthening support for the employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) system – the backbone of our country’s health coverage – while also raising awareness around the serious threats posed by a Medicare buy-in or public option.
PACT brings together a coalition of business voices united in support of strengthening and building upon the current ESI system, rather than resorting to highly disruptive changes that undermine health care coverage for the 180 million Americans who depend on employer-sponsored coverage.
A recent analysis estimates that employer-sponsored coverage delivers $800 billion in personal value to American families and saves consumers $100 billion in health care costs each year.
Employees value employer-sponsored coverage up to 84% more than the total cost of health coverage.
Employer-sponsored insurance remains a vital coverage option for more than 160 million Americans and saves employees an estimated $625 per person each year on their health care.
Researchers found that, under a proposal to expand Medicare to individuals aged 60-64, individuals earning between $18,000-$32,000 would pay more in premiums for Medicare than for many private plans.
Researchers estimate that under a Medicare buy-in proposal, individuals purchasing coverage on their own could face premium increases up to 10 percent.
Recent Congressional legislation that would establish a Medicare buy-in would increase federal spending by $184 billion over 10 years and only reduce the uninsured rate by .2 percent.
The current Medicare system is designed to support seniors, however, a Medicare buy-in could result in a nationwide loss of over 44,000 physicians – a decrease of 5.4% – by 2050 leading to dramatically increased wait times for patients in need of care.
Imposing a public option could lead to a new 4.8 percent payroll tax on American families over 30 years – far higher than the combined Medicare payroll tax Americans pay today.
Recent estimates suggest that over 30 years, the public option would become the third most expensive government program behind only Medicare and Social Security and could add as much as $700 billion to the federal deficit in its first 10 years.
A MEDICARE BUY-IN OR PUBLIC OPTION POSES SUBSTANTIAL AND DIRECT THREATS TO THE NATION’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
By shifting employees prematurely into Medicare or forcing them into an untested public health care option, millions of American workers and their families would lose the comprehensive coverage and quality care that they depend on for their health.
Worse, these policies would amount to a downward spiral for the private insurance market, leading to significant disruption across the health system at a time when stability is critically important.
The proposed policy changes are not a silver bullet for companies’ health care cost challenges, and employers would be better off encouraging policymakers to strengthen and enhance the current, reliable system that continues to be the driving force for health care innovation and reliability across the country.
STRENGTHENING EMPLOYER-SPONSORED INSURANCE: THE RELIABLE SOLUTION
ESI provides robust, affordable coverage for 180 million families and retirees. The flexibility of ESI allows companies to tailor insurance benefits and coverage to the needs of their specific workforce. This coverage includes broad, robust networks which provide access to major hospitals, academic medical centers and a variety of providers.
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.
Policymakers should focus on strengthening the reliable ESI system, rather than advancing misguided policies that will cause catastrophic disruption.
Policymakers must strengthen, not destabilize ESI.
Increasing government control over health insurance will have adverse effects on Americans.
Our health and economic policy experts explain why Congress must protect ESI for American families.
Our health policy and litigation experts explain why ERISA safeguards are essential.
Our VP of Health Policy explains why Congress should strengthen employer-sponsored insurance rather than a create a public option.
Learn more about PACT and stay up to date
Sign up for updates from the Chamber's health policy team