National health insurance by regulation: mandated employee benefits

by Charles E. Phelps

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National health insurance (NHI) can be "financed" by requiring employers to pay insurance premiums for employees and their families. The costs in 1980 for any such programs can be estimated through a series of tables provided in this paper. In addition, often-unanticipated side effects of mandated NHI are analyzed, including decreases in federal tax receipts (because of a shift in employee income from taxable wages to a nontaxable fringe benefit), temporary increases in unemployment as firms adjust to higher costs of employment per worker, and the methods by which firms would adjust to the new environment. The paper also contains updated estimates to mandated NHI costs previously undertaken by the author.

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