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Americans and Employer-Sponsored Health Care

by Matt Brownsword

Healthcare was a prominent topic at the most recent Democratic presidential debates. The conversation pitted the progressive, Medicare-for-all solution proposed by Senators Kamala Harris, among others, against the moderate, “build on Obamacare” plan put forth by former Vice President Joe Biden.

Senator Harris offered the idea that “it’s time that (the United States) separate employers from the kind of healthcare people get,” citing a portion of the population who “stick to a job that they do not like … simply because they need the healthcare that that employer provides.”

Just how embedded is the health insurance system into the workforce? Seventy-two percent of workers say their employer offers health care benefits, and more than 80% of those whose employers offer insurance benefits, use those benefits, according to a poll released by Edison Research and Marketplace, which spanned a variety of topics about the workplace.

That relationship between employer and health insurance can be the strongest tie some have to their job: 15% of American workers said that their healthcare benefits were the most important reason they work at their current job. Among those who say their job is “just a job” as opposed to being “part of a career,” that number jumps to almost one quarter of workers saying their health benefits are the most important reasons they work at their current job. This corroborates Harris’ example of an American “(sticking) to a job that they do not like, where they are not prospering,” because of the healthcare their employer provides.

The healthcare debate is going to rage on from the first few crowded Democratic primary debates to the national conventions, with both parties saying they have the best plan to mend the health insurance system.  According to voters, the American healthcare system is sorely in need of reform, with 70% of 2018 voters saying that the health care system needs major changes according to the 2018 NEP exit poll, conducted by Edison Research.  While there is agreement among voters – Democrats and Republicans – that the system needs to be fixed, there is a wide range of opinions about how to fix it.

 

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. Our national tracking study The Infinite Dial (in its 22nd year in the United States and now also conducted in four other countries), and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely-cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space. Edison is also the leading provider of face-to-face consumer research.  Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location.  Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

Democrats: Worried Sick About Health Care

By Evan Amereihn

The first Democratic Presidential debates start tomorrow. With more than 20 candidates vying for office, each candidate is working to break through the pack, win over voters, and make it to the second debate. As candidates hone their messages, they would be wise to consider the issues that are most important to Americans. The 2018 NEP exit poll conducted by Edison Research points to at least one clear topic to focus on: health care.

According to the exit poll, health care was the most important issue facing the country in the 2018 general election. Four in ten voters said that health care was the number one issue for them in deciding for whom to vote. And when solely considering the Democratic primary electorate, candidates should be even more focused on health care, as 57% of Democrats said that it was the most important issue.

If that isn’t enough evidence, 70% of all voters (73% of Democrats) said health care needed major changes. At a time when Americans are divided on many issues, both Republicans and Democrats agree that health care needs to be addressed. If the candidates have been doing their research, they will come at this issue hard on the debate stage this week and they will compete to propose the most appealing plan not only to Democrats but also the Independents they will eventually need in open primaries and the general election. Health care is the issue (again) this year, so get ready to hear more about single-payer systems, prescription drug prices, insulin price caps, and other potential health care solutions.