Any change in healthcare policy from Congress or the Administration should continue to protect or enhance Americans’ health and financial security. Revisions to protections now available under the Affordable Care Act must ensure that at least as many Americans will be enrolled in comprehensive, affordable health coverage as was true in January 2017 — current projections of the number of Americans at risk of losing health coverage from policy change in the near term range from 18 to 22 million people. Any new initiatives should focus on what’s needed most to help consumers: measures that lower healthcare prices, improve quality, and make it easier for consumers to navigate and understand coverage choices.
Consumers are concerned. According to a new nationally representative Consumer Reports Voices survey released January 19, 2017, more than half (55%) of Americans are either only slightly or not at all confident that they will have access to affordable health insurance. About a third are insecure in their ability to access care, including about their ability to secure doctor visits, necessary tests, treatments and medications. Grounded in these findings, below are our core principles for evaluating whether replacement plans will serve the interests of consumers: