The silent decline of the employer health care market

Reproduced from Kasier Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

While everyone was laser-focused on the Affordable Care Act for the past decade, the backbone of the American health care system was gradually deteriorating.

Between the lines: Employer insurance has become increasingly unaffordable over the last decade, contributing to today's political debates over surprise medical bills, drug prices and "Medicare for All."

Go deeper: Employer health plans are getting pricier and skimpier

What's next

Four health care questions for a better Democratic debate

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

If tonight’s Democratic debate is anything like the earlier ones, it will feature an extended back-and-forth about whether to eliminate private health insurance, and then move on from health care. But there’s a whole lot more that’s also worth asking about.

The big picture: We basically know what the candidates will say about the question of private insurance, because they’ve said it all before. So here are four other questions that might also help illuminate the choice voters face on such a deeply personal, wildly complex topic.

Medicare for All: Where the Democratic candidates stand

Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Photo: Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates are laying out plans for expanding health-care coverage, with Medicare for All overpowering the conversation.

The big picture: Most 2020 Democrats say they buy into the concept of universal health care, except they vary on how to achieve it — and on which plan would be more appealing to achieve nationwide support.

Health care stocks aren't having a great year

The stock prices of major health care companies have not kept pace with the broader market so far in 2019, even though the industry is flush with cash.

The bottom line: Medicare for All and other health care reforms floated by Democratic presidential candidates, as well as higher-than-expected medical costs at health insurance companies, have made investors nervous about the future.