Payer Roundup—Poll: Only 13% back a ‘Medicare for all’ plan that ends private insurance 

Stack of health insurance application forms with stethoscope on top
A new poll from The Hill found that just 13% of voters are behind policy proposals that would end private insurance coverage, plus more payer news. (Getty/vinnstock)

Poll: Only 13% of voters back “Medicare for all” if it means the end of private insurance 

In the debate about what a “Medicare for all” plan could look like, voters prefer a system that has a role for private insurance, according to a new poll. 

The Hill surveyed about 1,000 voters and found that just 13% would support a single-payer healthcare system that eliminates private payers entirely. However, a significant majority (71%) back a system in which the government ensures universal coverage. 

The most popular approach, according to the poll, is a government-run program that would allow people to buy private supplemental coverage; 32% of respondents back this model. In addition, 26% said they support the public option, in which the government would offer a health plan nationwide but people could still choose a private insurer. 

“Folks are clearly saying the system is still sort of broken to some degree, but there isn’t a lot of consensus around how to fix it in one way or another,” Gallup Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Younis said. (The Hill

Sherrod Brown, a 2020 presidential contender, backs Medicare drug negotiation 

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, whose name is in the mix for the 2020 Democratic nomination, has signed on to a bill that would allow Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices. 

Brown is the latest 2020 hopeful to take aim at the pharmaceutical industry. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has introduced a bill that would allow the government to manufacture generic drugs, for instance, while Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., backed legislation that would add greater oversight to the influence drugmakers have on Medicaid coverage decisions. 

Brown said the negotiation would lead to lower prices at the pharmacy counter for beneficiaries. (STAT

Georgia governor says he’s investigating waiver for partial Medicaid expansion

Newly instated Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he would back a push for a waiver that could partially expand Medicaid in the state. 

Though Kemp won’t support a full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, his office is investigating waiver options that could provide additional access to rural Georgians. A partial expansion could include work requirements, though Kemp wants to see a range of options before moving forward with anything formal. 

“Big picture: We hear very loudly and clearly that people don’t have access to care,” Frank Berry, commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Community Health, said. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution