Writing on behalf of the Society of General Internal Medicine’s Health Policy Research Committee, Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist and Indiana University School of Medicine faculty member Jennifer Carnahan, M.D., MPH, and colleagues from the universities of Texas and Toronto, Tufts University, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic and Brigham and Women’s Hospital highlight issues raised in the universal U.S. health coverage debate.
They advocate strongly for rigorous and objective research on existing coverage systems paired with a robust national conversation that involves all stakeholder constituencies. They are optimistic that high-performing universal health insurance can be achieved.
The health policy experts reviewed available evidence concerning the impact of universal insurance coverage on three key domains: health outcomes, cost and equity.
They write that a “majority of Americans favor universal health insurance, but there is uncertainty over how best to achieve this goal. Whatever the insurance design that is implemented, additional details that must be considered include breadth of services covered, restrictions and limits on volume of services, cost-sharing for individuals, and pricing.
In the hopes that research can inform this ongoing debate, we review evidence supporting different models for achieving universal coverage in the U.S. and identify areas where additional research and stakeholder input is needed.”