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Problems with Individual Health Insurance Mandates

Tyler Cowen writes:

Marginal Revolution: Mandatory health insurance: Glen Whitman reports:

  1. According to an Urban Institute study, uncompensated care for the uninsured accounts for only three percent of U.S. health care costs.
  2. 47 states require drivers to buy automobile insurance, yet the median percentage of uninsured drivers in these states is 12%.
  3. States should eliminate required benefits from insurance policies and allow the poor to buy policies for (relatively) cheap catastrophic care.

Here is the full piece, from Business Week; this is a topic deserving of more attention.  I'm still wondering what -- de facto -- will be done against those poor people who are required to buy health insurance but don't do so.

As Matthew Yglesias writes:

Matthew Yglesias: Enforcement: Tyler Cowen says "I'm still wondering what -- de facto -- will be done against those poor people who are required to buy health insurance but don't do so." Tyler comes at this from the perspective of a bad right-winger, an opponent of universal health insurance, but I wonder, too. To me, this problem seems like a significant disadvantage of the current vogue for mandate-and-subsidize over a more traditional set-up wherein the government pays for all or some of people's health expenses and collects taxes from people in order to do so. We already have a mechanism in place for enforcing payment of taxes.

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