Monday, July 15, 2024

Reformative Health Economists Suggest Universal, Free Basic Care in New Book

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In the recently published book “We’ve Got You Covered: Rebooting American Health Care,” health economists Liran Einav and Amy Finkelstein critique the U.S. health insurance system and propose a radical alternative. They suggest a combination of a global health budget with universal, accessible primary care for all. This primary care would be supplemented by optional additional insurance for more comprehensive coverage. Notably, they propose that this basic care be entirely free, without co-pays or deductibles, a proposition that challenges conventional economic theories about healthcare.

Einav and Finkelstein argue for universal coverage, pointing out that current healthcare practices are inefficient, wasteful, and dangerous for patients. They believe that the solution lies in overhauling the insurance system, rather than making incremental changes. They present their model as an affordable, coherent health system that offers care based on need rather than individual ability to pay.

However, the book leaves some questions unanswered, such as the definition of “basic” care, whether private insurance companies should run the universal system, or whether it should follow a Medicare-for-all structure. Despite these unresolved issues, the authors maintain confidence in their proposed model.

This radical proposal challenges traditional economic models and shakes up current thinking about healthcare provision. The idea of providing universal, free basic care is a significant departure from established health insurance practices in the U.S.

The author’s vision for a universal health system, offering free primary care and supplemented by optional additional insurance, raises important questions about the nature of healthcare provision and insurance. It opens up a dialogue about the roles of private and public sectors in healthcare and the extent to which care should be universal and free.

The debate over healthcare reform is ongoing, and this new book adds a valuable perspective. The authors’ radical proposal for a new insurance model, coupled with their critique of the current system, provides important food for thought for policymakers, health economists, and the general public.

The book “We’ve Got You Covered: Rebooting American Health Care” introduces a compelling new perspective to the ongoing debate about healthcare reform. The authors’ proposal for a universal, free primary care model is a radical departure from the current system, challenging conventional economic theories about healthcare. Their vision for a more equitable health system, based on need rather than ability to pay, offers a fresh viewpoint on how healthcare could be reformed in the U.S.

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