By Mark V. Pauly
The authors chronicle adjustments in U.S. attitudes approximately well-being care and look at coverage trade-offs and difficulties of a tax credit/voucher method to finance medical insurance.
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Additional resources for Responsible Tax Credits for Health Insurance
There would be a temptation to impose expensive requirements on qualified plans and to use insurance to reach other desired social goals. Prescriptive regulation and expansive standards would make the program more complex and the insurance product more expensive and would thus reduce the acceptance rate. In particular, defining a minimum benefit package in detail should be avoided. The process would inevitably politicize health care. Any prescribed minimum benefit, while comforting on paper, could be illusory when confronted with the real world.
The determination would depend on how much assistance people needed to buy insurance. No exact definition of need exists. No equation can unequivocally tell us how much individuals at different levels should pay for health insurance and how much should be offset by a credit. Such a judgment is ultimately a political one: Whom are taxpayers willing to subsidize and for how much? ) But empirical data can guide the political question. Table 2 shows the proportion of people younger than sixty-five at each income level who are privately insured or provided with insurance by their employer.
The availability of “free” care and a lack of familiarity with insurance might inhibit some low-income people from using the voucher credit. But many would take advantage of it. Others would grow in responsibility because they have a choice. Value of Credit for the Insured What about the use of the credit by people who would purchase (in many cases have purchased) adequate insurance without a credit? Would public money spent on them be wasted? In a true economic sense the answer would unequivocally be no.