More Americans Prefer Lower Premiums Over Obamacare’s Preexisting Condition Protections

Survey finds 37.1 percent of Democrats and Republicans favor lower premiums

• February 9, 2017 4:00 pm


More Americans would prefer lower premiums over the Affordable Care Act's protections for those with preexisting conditions, according to a poll from McLaughlin and Associates.

The group polled respondents with varying political views—36 percent were Democrats, 33 percent were Republicans, and 31 percent were independents.

Survey respondents were asked whether they would prefer lower health insurance premiums, Obamacare's preexisting conditions protections to stay the same, or would they rather different preexisting condition provisions be implemented that wouldn't raise premiums as much.

In October of last year, the Obama administration announced that Obamacare premiums were set to increase by double digits, increasing at a faster rate than they have in the past. Premiums for the silver benchmark plan are set to increase by 22 percent this year.

The plurality, 37.1 percent, said they would prefer lower health insurance premiums. Meanwhile, 26.8 percent wanted to keep Obamacare's provisions the same and 25.8 percent preferred new provisions for those with preexisting conditions that didn't raise premiums as much. About 10 percent were unsure.

According to Jeffrey Anderson, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, the group that commissioned the survey, Americans still want provisions for those with preexisting conditions. "It seems clear, then—based on the poll's results—that Americans do want preexisting-conditions protections, but they do not want Obamacare's preexisting-conditions protections [to] lead to significantly higher premiums, which they unquestionably do," Anderson says.

Anderson's alternative would provide funding for state-run high-risk pools, where no one with preexisting conditions could be denied coverage. Young adults with preexisting conditions could have a one-year buy-in period, in which they could purchase coverage but be exempted from paying more. For those who have kept continuous coverage in the individual market, they could switch to another plan without paying more because of a preexisting condition. These are just a few of the reforms that would help keep costs down while protecting individuals with these conditions.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Published under: Obamacare