Drew Altman: Universal Coverage Can Never Be Truly Universal

Calls to cover every single person in the United States fly in the face of feasibility, argues the CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Universal coverage remains a wonderful idea and noble goal but, pragmatically speaking, those who want to effect systemic change in health care should march under the banner of expanding coverage as much as possible. Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, writes in an opinion piece on Axios that even under Medicare for all, not everybody would be covered.

“That reality does not make it a less worthy goal to work to expand coverage as much as possible,” Altman writes.

Universal coverage, as is commonly understood, might get us to about 95% coverage, writes Altman.

“Universal coverage is a powerful rallying cry for Democrats and an important goal for progressive voters in the primary elections,” Altman writes. “But to appeal to as many voters as possible, making health insurance affordable for everyone—including by covering as many of the remaining uninsured as possible—might be a more effective rallying cry for the general election.”