He added that he isn’t persuaded that people “love” their current health insurance, noting that insurers sometimes make people get “pre-qualified” for treatment their doctor prescribes, send them incomprehensible bills and pass on unaffordable costs for essential medicine like insulin.
“I’m not sure who loves their private insurer,” he said.
Panelist Rosemary Day, founder and CEO of Day Health Strategies, said the key to success when she worked on the universal health insurance project in Massachusetts was subsidies. The state offers income-base subsidies above those offered by the federal government, to make insurance affordable.
If the federal subsidies were cut, she said, Massachusetts would not be able to make up the loss.
She wants a national health insurance program, but she said organizers must move slowly.
“It’s not politically feasible in this country, at this time, to do Medicare for All,” she said. “I think it’s extremely difficult to make that big of a shift in one fell swoop.”
When she worked on expanding health insurance in other states, she said, she encountered a “deep-seated distrust of the federal government.”
“Can we get there in a way that won’t create that level of backlash?” she asked.
Read More: Panel focuses on health care gaps, need for change | Local