FSA Friday - 8/3/18 - Political divide continues to affect healthcare priorities and understanding

Like most conversations coming out of Washington, the ongoing healthcare debate has strong opinions coming from both sides of the aisle. While this news isn't surprising, what is interesting is how divided the nation remains on a seemingly universal topic.

Poll reveals partisan divide among consumers on healthcare policy priorities - Paige Minemyer, FierceHealthcare

This article goes over a survey conducted by Morning Consult, a leading market research company. They asked 2,200 adults on behalf of the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) about the future of healthcare, including healthcare priorities, bipartisan healthcare and healthcare costs.

While 37% of participants claimed they wanted the government to play a larger role in regulating healthcare prices, only 13% were okay with increasing Medicare taxes, raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and reducing the benefits required in the Affordable Care Act -- all ways the government could lower costs in the program.

What this shows is that consumers have widely varying perceptions of not only what healthcare entails, but what goes into structuring and funding consumer-directed healthcare accounts. And the BPC agrees, saying these polling answers reflect public confusion on healthcare, and potential reform.

Of course, political stance played a role in the results. While the survey showed across the board that Americans spend far too much on healthcare, there wasn't much other agreement. It seems that Republicans' biggest concern in healthcare reform is lowering costs and limiting government interference, while Democrats' biggest concern is overall access to coverage.

After reading the full results, we learn that more than half of surveyed Democrats and Republicans were willing to accept a market-driven approach with private insurance and less government involvement if there was more responsibility for consumers to choose their insurance plans and providers, and to pay more themselves when choosing pricier options.

However, they weren't willing to accept the market-driven approach if it meant higher costs and lack of coverage. And this includes increased federal taxes.

All in all, this is an interesting read, even if there seems to still be huge gaps in agreement, on a topic that affects most Americans in the same ways.

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