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.
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 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.
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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