Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mandate SUBSIDES are indistinguishable from VOUCHERS (remember vouchers?)

If we absolutely must base universal coverage on private insurance: wouldn't VOUCHERS (remember vouchers) be more practical than mandates?

If you don't get a voucher you really deserve one in of your peculiar economic circumstance (at X income level) at least you are not forced to pay for something you cannot afford; you may just land back in the old ER -- fewer mandate suicides.
Come to think of it: SUBSIDES for low-income mandatees are indistinguishable from VOCHERS -- both tax paid.

If the REAL poverty line (as the informed are aware -- sort of as the informed were aware the earth is round before Columbus) is more like $40,000/yr for a family of four -- and median family income is tragically something like $55,000/hr -- and we want to be very careful that mandates do not put some families into impossible binds (I would argue life's little complications make that undoable): we may plausibly need to give as much as 100% subsidy for up 1 1/2 X the real poverty line (approx. median family income)?

The majority of families would probably get some level of subsidy -- equivalent to a means tested vouchers. Obama and Hill are half way to vouchers already!
Basically, mandates make the issue about HOW we achieve UHC -- advantage Repubs: "garnishing wages!?" Vouchers have the Dem advantage of being the Repubs' eternal answer for everything -- how can they object to mandates as the HOW part of UHC?

1 comment:

Robert said...

Yes, vouchers. See my approach to universal care at www.plan.bipartisanhealthplan.com