There is No Such Thing as Universal Healthcare

Medicare For All is often described as being one way to achieve universal healthcare, a system in which all residents are assured access to healthcare. Such descriptions remind me of the tired but true adage that there is no such thing as a free lunch. A while back, the Lone Economist conceded that the USAContinue reading “There is No Such Thing as Universal Healthcare”

Free PIE for Everyone!

Readers of my blog are aware that I am not a big fan of Obamacare and Medicare For All (MFA). I have proposed an alternative to these two programs, Medicare Prime (MP). But the term “alternative” implies that this new proposal is opposed to Obamacare and MFA. The fact is that MP is a generalizedContinue reading “Free PIE for Everyone!”

How Much Would Medicare Prime Cost?

In 2018, expenditures by Medicare and Medicaid combined grew 4.9%. To put these rates in perspective, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew only 2.9% that same year. Medicare and Medicaid expenditures have grown faster than the U.S economy for a long time. Needless to say, this situation is not sustainable indefinitely. Eventually the growth ofContinue reading “How Much Would Medicare Prime Cost?”

The Medicare Prime Deductible

To fully appreciate the costs and benefits of Medicare Prime (MP), we need to explore its possible budgetary and distributional effects. There are several factors to be considered. One is how much the deductible would vary with income and other household characteristics. There are an endless number of possible formulas to determine a household’s MPContinue reading “The Medicare Prime Deductible”

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”

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”

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?”