Health insurance companies say they are ready to step in to help consumers in states with the nation’s second-largest single-payer health care system.
The push for a single-payer system comes amid uncertainty over the health law’s future and Republican attacks on the Obama administration for failing to secure enough funding.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that it is working with insurers on a plan to expand eligibility to about 5 million Americans, which it said would create at least 2 million jobs.
That is more than double the 2.2 million jobs created under the ACA in the first half of 2018, the group said.
A growing number of Americans are choosing to buy private health insurance in part because of concerns that they could face higher premiums.
Health insurers said the plan is intended to provide access to insurance in states that have adopted a system that requires many of the same insurance plans to cover a small number of people with high medical costs.
In New Hampshire, for instance, there are more than 20,000 people with preexisting conditions who would qualify for a private health plan under the new system.
Some insurance companies have begun offering private health plans to consumers in the Granite State.
In California, the state has been among the few to fully implement the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
The state’s Republican governor, Jerry Brown, has made it a priority to ensure that the health care law’s expansion is fully implemented.
But he also has pushed back against Democrats who have argued that California should not follow Massachusetts in the Medicaid expansion that began in July.
California’s expansion has been a political winner for Brown, who was the only Democratic governor in the nation who didn’t sign the Medicaid bill that became law.
Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate have expressed concern about the expansion.
California and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid in their 2014 law, but it took years for the federal government to sign on.
That was because of an economic downturn, which pushed some states to reduce eligibility or expand eligibility.
In Massachusetts, the expansion was implemented in October 2014.
It was a major accomplishment for Brown and his Democratic predecessor, Deval Patrick, who campaigned on a promise to expand coverage.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Tuesday found that only 21 percent of people ages 18-29 had enrolled in private insurance in the last 12 months.
The poll also found that the share of those who are uninsured is higher than the share in all states except Massachusetts.
The Kaiser Family Health News survey of 1,073 adults was conducted Oct. 18-22.
The Associated Press