Study: Most don't give a crap how you lower healthcare costs & simplify it as long as you do so without weakening care.

Over at Axios, Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation has posted about a new focus group study which has some depressing, if not surprising findings:

...voters were only dimly aware of candidates’ and elected officials’ health proposals.

  • ...These voters are not tuned into the details — or even the broad outlines — of the health policy debates going on in Washington and the campaign, even though they say health care will be at least somewhat important to their vote.
  • Many had never heard the term “Medicare for all”...
  • When asked what they knew about Medicare for all, few offered any description beyond “everyone gets Medicare,” and almost no one associated the term with a single-payer system or national health plan.
  • ...When voters in the groups were read even basic descriptions of some proposals to expand government coverage, many thought they sounded complicated and like a lot of red tape.

...Most voters in these groups don’t seem to see the current health reform proposals on either side of the aisle as solutions to their top problems: paying for care or navigating the health insurance system and red tape.

(sigh) In short, people want their healthcare coverage to cost less and have less paperwork and hassles, and don't care how that happens.

Put another way, healthcare is complicated.

The big red flags for "Medicare for All" are that some hadn't even heard the term (really??? good grief)...but more significantly, that those who had didn't think it meant single payer.

Part of this is a deliberate strategy by "Medicare for All" advocates--the term "single payer" polls poorly, whereas "Medicare for All" polls well, so that's the phrase they're using to describe it...except that it would be single payer, with all the elements that would include (both good and bad).

To be fair, if this study is representative nationally, it also doesn't bode well for any of the various healthcare overhaul proposals on the table, including my own preferred "Medicare for America" bill. What this really says to me is that, at least for the time being, people are mostly looking for smaller (but still significant) improvements to the system...such as the ACA 2.0 bill which I've also been pushing so hard for so long.