This doesn’t sound terribly promising

Laurence J. Kotlikoff is professor of economics at Boston University and author of a forthcoming book, The Healthcare Fix. I’m underwhelmed by his op-ed piece in the Boston Globe, We are all uninsured now.

Kolitkoff proposes a strange amalgam of radically ambitious and timid reforms.

On the one hand he would abolish Medicare, Medicaid and employer based health care, and have the government give everyone a voucher based on their health status. Unhealthy people would get bigger vouchers and insurers would be forced to accept the vouchers.

I can’t imagine those things happening and I don’t think they’re a good idea.

On the other hand he would keep the current insurance and health care delivery systems in place.

Nothing would be nationalized. Virtually all of the cost would be covered by redirecting existing government healthcare expenditures as well as tax breaks. Doctors, hospitals, and insurers would continue to market their services on a competitive basis.

I’m willing to give Kolikoff the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the book explains how the government is going to rate everyone’s health status every year, or how leaving the existing health care delivery and insurance system intact is going to solve anything. But I doubt it.

August 28, 2007

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