It’s the Perspective, Stupid

Medicare Prime (MP) is my proposal for a health insurance system that would avoid many of the problems created by our current one. One of its proposed features is the classification of healthcare providers into two camps: in-network and out-of-network. The benefits of this bifurcation of providers deserve further explanation. As explained in a previousContinue reading “It’s the Perspective, Stupid”

How to Lower Health Insurance Premiums

Continuing our outline of Medicare Prime (MP), an “optimal” public health insurance system based on economic principles and data-driven research, we explore one of its benefits for middle-income households, i.e. lower premiums. Why Insurance Premiums Are So High In an earlier post I explained how Medicare and Medicaid (M&M) affect the private insurance market. M&MContinue reading “How to Lower Health Insurance Premiums”

Medicare Prime

Our quest for an optimal health insurance system is starting to come into focus. It would have several features in common with Medicare For All (MFA), Obamacare, and The Public Option (TPO), but with a few critical differences. Like MFA, it would be financed entirely through taxation, not premiums. It would recognize a minimally-acceptable levelContinue reading “Medicare Prime”

Can Public and Private Health Insurance be Complimentary?

Two substitute goods each satisfy the same need while not enhancing the benefit of consuming the other. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi both satisfy the need for a cola-flavored soft drink. Most people either consume one or the other. Few people like to combine the two. And because they are substitutes, their suppliers are naturalContinue reading “Can Public and Private Health Insurance be Complimentary?”

How to Close the Coverage Gap

I’ve written several posts explaining the twin problems of health insurance: adverse selection and moral hazard.  Rather than solve these twin problems, the two main health insurance proposals, Medicare For All (MFA) and The Public Option (TPO), would exacerbate them. MFA would solve adverse selection by providing health insurance to everyone without premiums or out-of-pocketContinue reading “How to Close the Coverage Gap”

The Cost of Obamacare

Private health insurance alone can never provide protection for all Americans. People with pre-existing medical conditions (including old age) will not be able to afford the premiums charged to them and healthy, risk-neutral people will find the purchase of private insurance too much of an unfavorable bet. To close this coverage gap, many government-financed solutionsContinue reading “The Cost of Obamacare”

A Brief History of Public Health Insurance in the US

Any discussion of the health insurance policy debate will benefit from some historical context. Prior to the 1960’s, the U.S. government had very little impact on the provision of health insurance. Virtually all health insurance was provided through private companies. For a private health insurance market to thrive, two conditions must exist.  The first conditionContinue reading “A Brief History of Public Health Insurance in the US”

Who Pays for Medicare and Medicaid?

In our last post, we found that physicians receive higher payments from the privately insured and the uninsured for office visits than they receive from the publicly-insured (i.e. Medicare and Medicaid), but as long as the publicly-insured pay the variable costs of providing care, most physicians have a financial incentive to treat them. This incentiveContinue reading “Who Pays for Medicare and Medicaid?”

Is Treating Medicare Patients Profitable?

This post is the latest in a series that establishes what an optimal health insurance system would look like, how much it would cost and who would pay for it. Past posts analyzed the number of uninsured people in the US (it’s not as many as officially reported), the cost of a single-payer system (it’sContinue reading “Is Treating Medicare Patients Profitable?”

Who Pays What and Why

It’s time to return to designing an optimal health insurance system. In previous posts we have specified the different types of healthcare that are covered by health insurance, defined and quantified the size of the uninsured population in the US, explained the costs of single-payer healthcare systems, and discussed the high degree of market powerContinue reading “Who Pays What and Why”