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How much of the nation's resources should be devoted to health care? To what degree should a national health insurance bill be used to redistribute income? This pioneering study of the way in which the costs of a national health insurance (NHI) program are to be distributed among income groups begins with a quantitative analysis of four prototypical NHI bills in terms of the tax burden and income redistribution they would produce: the Administration bill, the Kennedy-Mills bill, the Corman-Kennedy bill, and the Long-Ribicoff bill. The authors then examine the value judgments that are reflected in the financing provisions of the four bills and identify both areas of agreement and of unresolved controversy among the sponsors of health insurance legislation. Finally, they consider the philosophical disagreement between proponents of a payroll tax and of a premium and suggest possible areas for compromise between opposing factions.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.