Saturday, January 9, 2010

Health Cooperatives

One of my favorite college professors has an opinion piece on health cooperatives in the Christian Science Monitor. Here's the money quote:

The solution is to abolish Medicare and Medicaid, abolish the favorable tax treatment of employer-provided insurance, impose a one-price rule on procedures, and issue a voucher to every single American citizen. The creation of a voucher program would certainly take less than 1,990 pages of legislative language. This will solve the problem of the uninsured completely, immediately, and permanently in a transparent way that works with, rather than against, competition. The big losers will be special interest groups because a transparent voucher system will rob them of their ability to manipulate the system. They know this all too well, which is why they oppose it.
And this article further explains his voucher-based solution.


Anonymous said...


Without reading the article (I haven't time) I have this comment.

Here in New Zealand we have debated voucher systems for health care and for education.

The only way they could work for the poor is if private top ups could be effectively forbidden (in a free society that is hard to do for all sorts of obvious reasons).

The reason falls out of a simple class analysis: If the middle and upper classes can top up their health and education programmes they can save on taxes by doing just that (in the case of health probably with insurence forthe non-poor and healthy). The poor, who have little politicfal power will get forgotten, and the system for those who *only* have vouchers to spend will wilt away.

If topping up is forbidden then the middle and upper classes (who have the political power) will use the same system as the poor and they will ensure it is a good system.

Problem is, clearly, how to implement that prohibition


Anoush Alexnder said...

La razón se cae de un análisis de clase simple: si las clases media y alta pueden recargar sus programas de salud y educación que pueden ahorrar en impuestos por hacer precisamente eso (en el caso de la salud probablemente con un seguro para los no pobres y saludable) . Los pobres, que tienen poco poder político conseguirá olvidado, y el sistema para aquellos que * sólo * tienen vales para gastar se marchitan lejos.