A simple, straightforward, and foolproof proposal for universal health insurance from a noted economist.
Taking off from the statistic that 47 million Americans have no health insurance, this treatise from Boston University economist Kotlikoff (The Coming Generational Storm) argues forcefully that on one hand, emergency room and other medical debt incurred by the uninsured is a crippling force in the economy, and that, on the other, Medicare and Medicaid benefits are spiraling beyond the system's ability to sustain them. Humanitarian concerns aside, Kotlikoff argues for a voucher-based "Medical Security System" that issues benefits to individuals (rather than doctors or hospitals) based on existing medical conditions. The plan's goal is the preservation of the existing private health care industry, in part through allowing the government to control costs by establishing the value of the vouchers. Kotlikoff's passionate exposition of the details of his plan is sure to add to the growing health care debate.