Majority of Americans already have coverage; how we can expand it to all
Everyone should have access to health care, no matter who you are, where you live or what your health condition may be. Our health care system isn’t perfect. As we work to improve it, expand access to care and lower costs for everyone, it’s important to remember some key facts.
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How we can expand coverage to the remaining 10 percent without disrupting coverage and care for nearly 300 million Americans who already have health insurance:
- Close current gaps: Most of the uninsured already are eligible for coverage, with financial assistance available. Many more are eligible for employer-based coverage. However, too many people simply do not know they can enroll and need to better understand why insurance is important. We must restore federal funding for outreach and education, encourage states to reinvigorate enrollment efforts and provide simpler paths to coverage.
- Make coverage and care more affordable: No one who is purchasing coverage as an individual should pay more than 12 percent of income for health insurance. To achieve this, Congress should enhance tax credits for those purchasing on the exchanges and bolster credits for younger people in particular. We should also take steps to further reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for lower-income individuals.
- Address the high cost of chronic disease: 90 percent of every health care dollar is spent treating people with chronic conditions, most of which are preventable or can be better managed. Addressing chronic conditions requires bringing down prescription drug prices, particularly through speeding the use of generics; emphasizing preventive and primary care; and undertaking a national initiative to address chronic disease with steps such as redoubling efforts to reduce tobacco use and combat obesity.
Download a pdf of the full infographic here.