Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health Care Reform And 2008 Elections: New Reports Examine Candidates' Plans, Public's Views

Date:
January 19, 2008
Source:
Commonwealth Fund
Summary:
Eighty-one percent of Americans believe that in order to help reach the goal of health insurance for all, employers should either provide health insurance to their workers or contribute to the cost of their coverage, according to new survey data. Nearly nine of 10 (88 percent) Democrats, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Republicans, and nearly four of five (79 percent) Independents would support such an employer "play or pay" requirement.

Eighty-one percent of Americans believe that in order to help reach the goal of health insurance for all, employers should either provide health insurance to their workers or contribute to the cost of their coverage, according to survey data recently released by The Commonwealth Fund. Nearly nine of 10 (88%) Democrats, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Republicans, and nearly four of five (79%) Independents would support such an employer "play or pay" requirement.

In addition, the survey, conducted between June and October of 2007, found that a wide majority of Democratic (67%), Republican (66%), and Independent (70%) voters believe that health insurance costs should be shared by individuals, employers and the government. Further, a majority of the public was strongly or somewhat in favor of requiring individuals to have health insurance coverage--with government help for those who cannot afford it. Sixty-eight percent of Americans favor such a proposal, with 80 percent of Democrats in support, and more than half of Republicans (52%) and two-thirds of Independents (68%) in favor, according to a report on the survey findings, The Public's Views on Health Care Reform in the 2008 Presidential Election.

The Commonwealth Fund also recently released a report that describes and evaluates the Presidential candidates' health reform plans. The analysis found that both leading Democratic and Republican candidates seek to expand health coverage through the private insurance market, but the leading Democratic candidates would require employers to continue participating in the health insurance system either by providing coverage directly or contributing to the cost of their employees' coverage, whereas the Republicans support changes in the tax code that have the potential to significantly reduce the role of employers in the provision and financing of health insurance.

"In some ways, the Republican proposals seek bigger changes to the way most people currently obtain coverage," said lead author Sara Collins, Assistant Vice President at The Commonwealth Fund. "Most of their plans propose a diminishing role for employers, whereas the leading Democrats favor keeping employers in the game."

The report, Envisioning the Future: The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Care Reform Proposals, found that while there are wide distinctions between the plans put forth by Republican and Democratic candidates, there are relatively narrow distinctions among the plans within each party. Some of the major differences between parties include:

  • Only Democratic candidates support universal coverage as a goal.
  • While both Republican and Democratic candidates' plans are structured around the private market, Republican plans would rely almost exclusively on individual insurance markets without consumer protections to require insurers to extend insurance coverage to people in poor health. In contrast, Democrats' plans would broadly pool risk to bring down costs and prevent insurers from denying insurance to Americans in poor health or who are older.
  • Democratic proposals would retain and strengthen the employer role in providing health insurance or pay for part of their employees' coverage. Republicans are proposing to change the tax code to provide incentives for individuals to purchase insurance on the private market, which has the potential to significantly reduce employers' role in health care coverage.
  • None of the Republican candidates would require that people have health insurance. On the Democratic side, Senator Clinton (D-NY) and former Senator Edwards (D-NC) would require that all Americans eventually have coverage. Senator Obama (D-IL) would require that children have coverage.
  • Currently, none of the Republican candidates have identified financing sources for their reform plans. Of the Democratic candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama and former Senator Edwards would roll back or let expire the tax cuts of the past few years for high income households, in addition to using employer and individual contributions to premiums. However, the lack of details makes it unclear if the amount of financing they have specified will be sufficient.
  • According to the study's authors, health care reform plan design is key to ensuring that the reforms have a deep impact on the country's ability to make significant, long-lasting improvements in access to care, equity, quality of care, efficiency, and cost control. The authors state that the most important feature of any health care reform will be its ability to provide health insurance and access to health care for all.

"For too long Americans have paid top dollar for a health care system that doesn't give them access to the high quality health care they deserve," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "By enacting the right reforms in the right way, we can ensure that all Americans can benefit from receiving the care they need to stay healthy, cure acute conditions, and keep chronic health problems well-controlled."

The Commonwealth Fund is an independent foundation working toward health policy reform and a high performance health system.

Survey Methodology

The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey (2007) consisted of 25-minute telephone interviews in either English or Spanish among a random, nationally representative sample of 3,501 adults age 19 and older living in the continental United States. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from June 6, 2007, through October 24, 2007.

Survey results are weighted to make the sample representative of all adults age 19 and older living in the continental United States and to correct for the disproportionate sample design which oversampled low-income, African American and Hispanic households. The resulting weighted sample is representative of the approximately 214.5 million adults age 19 and older living in the continental United States.

The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is 2.2 percent. The 44.7 percent response rate was calculated consistent with standards of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Commonwealth Fund. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Commonwealth Fund. "Health Care Reform And 2008 Elections: New Reports Examine Candidates' Plans, Public's Views." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092959.htm>.
Commonwealth Fund. (2008, January 19). Health Care Reform And 2008 Elections: New Reports Examine Candidates' Plans, Public's Views. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092959.htm
Commonwealth Fund. "Health Care Reform And 2008 Elections: New Reports Examine Candidates' Plans, Public's Views." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115092959.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins