There are differences among Minnesotans over whether people are entitled to health care or should get it through employment, according to a recent survey from the University of St. Thomas business school.
Daniel McLaughlin, a former CEO of Hennepin County Medical Center and director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs at UST, said ORC International surveyed 1,004 adults in the state.
More than half of respondents believe that health insurance should be a constitutional right of citizenship, as in Canada and other developed countries.
Older, full-time working, male, white and high-income respondents are more likely to believe that insurance should be an employee benefit. Younger, less-educated, unemployed, female, and lower-income respondents are more likely to say health insurance should be a constitutional right.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents believe everyone should get healthcare. And 100 percent of African American respondents believe that. Sixty three percent of millennials believe health insurance should be a right; more than older Gen X (46 percent) and Boomers (46 percent) members.
Two-thirds of unemployed believe health insurance should be a right, compared with 49 percent of full-time workers. And 58 percent of women believe health insurance should be a constitutional right, compared with 46 percent for males.
McLaughlin recently asked his business students, many of whom work for health care companies, what can be done to improve health care.
“It surprises me that young people in the MBA program — including students who work in health care for Medtronic, UnitedHealth Group and Allina — when asked about what can we do to improve health, suggest government-centered taxes on fatty foods, apps on phones and more government-centered initiatives,” McLaughlin said. “That surprised me from folks who work in the private-sector health care business.”
Those companies profit from taxpayer-subsidized programs such as Medicare, which covers elderly Americans, and Medicaid for the poor. They soon will amount to half of the nation’s total health care payments.
“Almost 80 percent of Medicaid services are delivered through private health plans, such as UNH, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna,” McLaughlin said. “One third of Medicare beneficiaries are in a “Medicare Advantage’ plan. That’s a private health plan that gets the money and provides the services, often so efficiently that it can provide free glasses or a health club membership [subsidy].”