Jul 28, 2019

Study: 9 out of 10 Americans have health coverage

Progressive Democrats of America rally in D.C. in April. Phot: Win McNamee/Getty Images

America's much-maligned health care system is covering 9 out of 10 people, AP's Ricardo Alonso Zaldivar reports.

Why it matters: "The politicians are depicting a system in meltdown. The numbers point to a different story, not as dire and more nuanced."

  • "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."

The data: "Government surveys show that about 90% of the population has coverage, largely preserving gains from President Obama's years."

  • "Independent experts estimate that more than half of the roughly 30 million uninsured people in the country are eligible for health insurance through existing programs."

Between the lines: Those facts haven't stopped the 2020 presidential candidates from refighting battles about how to provide coverage, from Bernie Sanders' call for replacing private insurance with a government plan to President Trump's pledge to erase the Affordable Care Act and start over.

Go deeper

Health care is gobbling up your wages

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

American incomes have barely changed over the past 20 years on an inflation-adjusted basis, and that's due in large part to the exploding costs of health coverage.

The big picture: More people are plunging deeper into debt as the costs of housing, college and consumer goods greatly outgrow their paychecks. And those paychecks have been stagnant because employers are shoveling more money toward workers' health insurance.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

The growing employer health care crisis

Reproduced from Peter-Kaiser Health System Tracker; Chart: Axios Visuals

The past decade has seen enormous growth in health care costs paid by both employees and employers, creating the context for some of today's biggest political debates as well as teeing up more problems for the future.

Yes, but: There are some signs that employers have maxed out their ability to shift costs to employees.

Go deeperArrowAug 16, 2019

The health care debate Democrats aren't having

Candidates at the Democratic debate in Detroit. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tuesday night's field of presidential candidates fought in 30-second soundbites over the merits of single payer Medicare for All versus a public option.

Yes, but: None of the candidates moved beyond sparring over insurance reforms to address the underlying reason why people are having so much trouble affording their health care, which is that health care services keep getting more expensive.

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019