Chapter 18: National Health Insurance
An approach to the redistribution of Medical Care Review
1.What criteria are most appropriate for evaluating a governments health insurance scheme?
2.Describe the characteristics of the uninsured.
3.A payroll tax imposed one-half on both the employer and the employee is used to finance Medicare Part A. Using supply and demand diagrams for labor, show how the elasticity of supply and demand for labor determines who actually bears the burden of the payroll tax.
4. If society were to establish as a principle for national health insurance that everyone should have equal consumption of medical care for equal needs, explain why a policy that established the same price to everyone for medical care (or makes medical care free to all, that is, zero price) will not achieve societys goal.
5. Assume that in country X, where medical care was privately paid for, a new government was elected, with one of its policies being free medical care for all. As the new minister of health, what are the various actions you would have to undertake to ensure that at a zero price for all medical care services, an efficient and adequate supply will be available in the future?
6.One approach that has been proposed for national health insurance is a system whereby all employers would be required to provide their employees with a minimum set of health insurance benefits (an employer mandate). Evaluate this proposal in terms of the demand for different types of labor, the effects on federal revenues, the effects on the prices of goods and services produced by different types of industries, and the effect on imported goods. How equitable do you believe such a proposal to be? Be explicit regarding any assumptions you make.
7.Compare an income-related refundable tax credit NHI plan to the current tax-exempt employer-purchased health insurance system in terms of their likely effects on efficiency in delivery and equity with respect to government subsidies.
8.Which groups would be expected to favor and oppose an employer-mandated health insurance plan?
9. National health insurance can be financed by either a payroll or an income tax. Compare the equity and economic efficiency effects of each of these methods of financing.
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