In Defying the Odds, we discuss the health care issue in the 2016 campaign. the update -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
Government surveys show that about 90% of the population has coverage , largely preserving gains from President Barack Obama’s years. Independent experts estimate that more than one-half of the roughly 30 million uninsured people in the country are eligible for health insurance through existing programs.
Lack of coverage was a growing problem in 2010 when Democrats under Obama passed his health law. Now the bigger issue seems to be that many people with insurance are struggling to pay their deductibles and copays.
“We need to have a debate about coverage and cost, and we have seen less focus on cost than we have on coverage,” said Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. He is among the Democratic presidential candidates who favor building on the current system, not replacing it entirely, as does Sanders. “The cost issue is a huge issue for the country and for families,” Bennet said.
A report this year by the Commonwealth Fund think tank in New York found fewer uninsured Americans than in 2010 but more who are “underinsured,” a term that describes policyholders exposed to high out-of-pocket costs, when compared with their individual incomes. The report estimated 44 million Americans were underinsured in 2018, compared with 29 million in 2010 when the law was passed. That’s about a 50% increase, with the greatest jump among people with employer coverage.