Episode 49: Digging Deeper Into the Challenges of a Single Payer System — Part II
Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley focus on the parts of the US system that are working well, focusing on the employer-sponsored group health insurance market. Chase orates a brief history of the employer-based insurance model, including why employer groups were originally (and still today) the ideal group market target for insurance companies. Chase explains that between 180 and 185 million people (or 55 to 60 percent of the US population) are currently covered through an employer group health plan; the vast majority of whom are happy with their plan and benefits. Chase and Suzanne outline the importance of employer engagement in employee’s health care benefit coverage, and how the employer market has seen lower cost increases than the individual market. Chase describes the built-in incentives for employers and carriers to develop innovative plan design and cost-saving strategies, and how the private market (as compared to the government) is better suited to stoke the embers of further innovation. The two conclude that the employer model is working well: It’s a stable system that has lower premium rate increases, less adverse selection, more incentives for innovation, and that already covers the majority of US citizens. The better approach is to develop fixes for the more problematic individual market.