Payer Roundup—Survey: Nearly half of adults have never heard of ‘Medicare for All’ 

Medicare enrollment form and pen
A new survey finds that 46% of adults have never heard of the varied "Medicare for All" plans, plus more health insurance news. (Getty/zimmytws)

Nearly half of adults have never heard of ‘Medicare for All,’ study finds 

Close to half of adults (46%) said they have not heard of “Medicare for All” policy proposals, according to a new survey from NORC at the University of Chicago. 

NORC polled a nationally representative group of 1,021 people. An additional 40% said they have “heard some talk” of the single-payer plans, and just 13% said they have “heard a lot” of the policy talk. 

The problem? There are too many variants of a “Medicare for All” plan for the public to keep up with, NORC’s researchers said. 

“‘Medicare for All’ is a term that means something different to everyone, which makes it hard for the public to understand how such a program would work,” said Caroline Pearson, senior fellow at NORC. (Announcement)   

Wisconsin governor changes tune on ACA lawsuit 

Newly instated Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he would direct the state’s attorney general to pull the state out of a multistate lawsuit in Texas courts over the ACA—but he changed course within 24 hours. 

Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature voted in December to move the power to pull out of a lawsuit from Evers and AG Josh Kaul to the legislative body. Proponents of the lawsuit argued that change would make Evers’ plan illegal. 

In a letter to Kaul, Evers said he would rescind the authority he’d given to pull the state out of the Affordable Care Act suit. 

Wisconsin is one of 20 states involved in the lawsuit, which led a Texas judge to declare the ACA unconstitutional in mid-December. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker unveils new Medicaid drug price program 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has revealed a new plan to contain drug prices in the state’s Medicaid program by allowing it to negotiate drug prices directly. 

The proposal was included in part of the governor’s annual budget plan. In addition to allowing negotiation, Baker’s proposal would refer high-cost pharmaceutical companies to the state’s Health Policy Commission, which would be granted oversight authority. 

The commission could force drugmakers to justify pricing at public hearings and would be able to refer cases it determines unreasonable to the state attorney general. Baker’s office estimates the plan, if enacted, could impact about two dozen medications. 

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America warned that the plan could limit patient access. (Boston Globe