3 posts tagged “ACA”

We the Patients: New PatientsLikeMe poll finds a unified voice on a U.S. health care plan

Posted June 14th, 2017 by

Repeal? Replace? Revise? While politicians have spent months debating the details of a U.S. health care plan, a recent poll of 2,755 PatientsLikeMe members has found that patients are largely aligned about components of a strong plan for the country.

 

“Despite the partisan divide in Congress about what should be included in a health care plan there is a singular voice in patients, who are agreed across party lines on the essential foundation for any plan.”

— Sally Okun, PatientsLikeMe’s vice president of Advocacy, Policy and Patient Safety

 

Patients with a variety of conditions and from all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) participated in the poll May 4-9. The poll launched on the same day that the U.S. House of Representatives voted (217 to 213) to narrowly pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA, sometimes nicknamed “Trumpcare” or “Ryancare”), which would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”). The AHCA bill is now with the Senate for deliberation, revisions and possibly a vote in the coming days.

Here are some highlights from the poll’s findings and the latest trends in patients’ opinions.

PatientsLikeMe ACA patient poll

The new (May) poll was a follow-up to a January 2017 poll where PatientsLikeMe members weighed in on the ACA/Obamacare. Comparing the responses of those who took both the January and May polls, patients are increasingly in favor of modifying rather than replacing the ACA/Obamacare. Fewer patients believe the ACA “needs a major overhaul” or should be “totally eliminated.”

The 7 must-haves

Patients speak out on health care law

Patients are united — 95% or more of respondents agree that these elements should be included in a national health care plan to “provide essential help to the most people.”

Should states have a choice?

Nearly half (48%) disagree that states should be able to “opt out” of parts of a national health care plan while more than one-third (35%) agree with it. But only 22% agree that their own state should opt out.

Patients speak out on health care law

The strongest opinions about opting out were split along party lines, with more Democrats than Republicans believing states should not be allowed to opt out.

Take action: How to raise the patient voice in 3 steps

Want to share the patient voice with your members of Congress? Click here to go to a “Take Action” page with 3 simple steps to spread the word about the poll results and add your own perspective.

 

“Our hope is that by amplifying the voice of those with the most experience with our health system, we will influence the Senate to construct the best plan for all Americans.”

— Sally Okun

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What do PatientsLikeMe members think about the Affordable Care Act?

Posted February 16th, 2017 by

With a new administration in Washington, the future of “Obamacare” is uncertain. So we wanted to know: What do patients think about potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? More than 2,000 PatientsLikeMe members recently shared their thoughts in the largest patient poll on the 2010 health care law.

Previous large-scale polls about the ACA focused on the general population, rather than specifically asking people with health conditions to weigh in. But in this poll, we heard directly from 2,197 members living with a variety of conditions, including MS, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, depression, ALS, diabetes and cancer.

“Regardless of your political leaning, the great equalizer is that we’ll all become sick one day. At this time of uncertainty about the future of health care, listening to the voice of patients today will illuminate the path forward for all of us.”

‑ Sally Okun, PatientsLikeMe’s Vice President of Advocacy, Policy and Patient Safety

Overall, PatientsLikeMe members have similar feelings and concerns about the ACA as the general population. But patients – who have regular, real-world health care experiences – see some benefits that the general population might have overlooked. Take a look at these snapshots of some key findings from the poll (tap each graphic for a larger view).

No go on repeal

Those who took the PatientsLikeMe poll* were more likely to oppose a repeal of the ACA than the general population**.

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What should be scrapped?

When asked which one component of the ACA they would eliminate, if they were forced to choose, patients were four times more likely to say they would eliminate the individual mandate vs. other components of the ACA.

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How helpful is the ACA?

More than 37 percent of patients said the ACA has been “very helpful” for people with chronic conditions, while nearly 20 percent said “somewhat helpful.” Also, nearly half of patients (46%) said the ACA needs only minor modifications.

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Strong opinions stand out

People living with major depressive disorder (MDD) as their primary condition were more likely to oppose a repeal of the ACA. The MDD community may have a stronger stance on recent health care policy because of a 2013 rule requiring insurers to cover mental health and addiction issues equally to physical health ailments.

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Money talks

Lowering costs is a priority for both patients and the general population. Lowering the amount individuals pay for health care is an important priority for 94% of patients and 93% of the general population. And lowering the cost of prescription drugs is an important priority for 96% of patients and 89% of the general population.

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“I think the problems with this health care program affect those individuals who are caught in the cracks … who do not make enough but do not make so little that they are covered by government programs,” said member Randy, who took the poll. “But we had these problems before the Affordable Care Act. So we need to fix [it], not take [it] away completely.”

What do you think about the ACA? Do you have a different take? Jump into the forum and keep the comments coming. Your voice – the real-world patient voice – matters.

 

* See the full report on the PatientsLikeMe poll.

** General population results came from a 2016 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

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