December 26, 2004
How to Cover the Uninsured
Which is the more efficient tool for covering the uninsured: tax policy (e.g., tax credits aimed at employers or employees, tax credits targeted at nongroup coverage) or expansion of public insurance programs? That is the question Jonathan Gruber in the MIT Department of Economics examines in his paper, "Tax Policy for Health Insurance." As noted over on the TaxLawProf Blog, Gruber "contrast[s] the efficiency of these policies along several dimensions, most notably the dollars of public spending per dollar of insurance value provided. [He] find[s] that every tax policy is much less efficient than public insurance expansions: while public insurance costs the government only between $1.17 and $1.33 per dollar of insurance value provided, tax policies cost the government between $2.36 and $12.98 per dollar of insurance value provided." Thanks to my colleague, Hank Lischer, for bringing this article to my attention. [tm]
December 26, 2004 | Permalink
Thanks for the heads up on this article. It sounds really fascinating. It makes sense intuitively that public insurance expansion would be more efficient than tax policy changes, but I'd love to see some hard science that would back this up. Unfortunately only the abstract can be viewed without paying for a download of the article.
Posted by: Anjali | Dec 26, 2004 7:54:16 PM