Basic Elements of Financing National Health Insurance.

by Bridger M. Mitchell

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In the debate over the establishment of a comprehensive program of national health insurance, the provisions for financing have emerged as a key obstacle blocking agreement on new legislation. This paper outlines the different combinations of premiums, payroll and income taxes, and out-of-pocket payments that would allow a program to be designed to achieve nearly any distribution of costs, ranging from a plan that has approximately equal costs and benefits at every level of income to a program that creates a substantial degree of income redistribution. Economic analysis is needed to define the cost implications of specific proposals and to suggest alternative means by which national health insurance could be funded. (Testimony to Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, February 1976.) 21 pp.

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