The Healthcare Fix by Laurence J. Kotlikoff
Universal Insurance for All Americans

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The shocking statistic is that forty-seven million Americans have no health
insurance. When uninsured Americans go to the emergency room for treatment, however, they do receive
care ;and a bill. Many hospitals now require uninsured patients to put their treatment on a credit
card ;which can saddle a low-income household with unpayably high balances that can lead to personal
bankruptcy. Why don't these people just buy health insurance? Because the cost of coverage that
doesn't come through an employer is more than many low- and middle-income households make in a year.
Meanwhile, rising healthcare costs for employees are driving many businesses under. As for
government-supplied health care, ever higher costs and added benefits (for example, Part D,
Medicare's new prescription drug coverage) make both Medicare and Medicaid impossible to sustain
fiscally; benefits grow faster than the national per-capita income. It's obvious the system is
broken. What can we do?In The Healthcare Fix, economist Laurence Kotlikoff proposes a simple,
straightforward approach to the problem that would create one system that works for everyone ;and
secure America's fiscal and economic future. Kotlikoff's proposed Medical Security System is not the
"socialized medicine" so feared by Republicans and libertarians; it's a plan for universal health
insurance. Because everyone would be insured, it's also a plan for universal healthcare.Participants
;including all who are currently uninsured, all Medicaid and Medicare recipients, and all with
private or employer-supplied insurance ;would receive annual vouchers for health insurance, the
amount of which would be based on their current medical condition. Insurance companies would
willingly accept people with health problems because their vouchers would be higher. And the
government could control costs by establishing the values of the vouchers so that benefit growth no
longer outstrips growth of the nation's per capita income. It's a "single-payer" plan ;but a single
payer for insurance. The American healthcare industry would remain competitive, innovative, strong,
and private.Kotlikoff's plan is strong medicine for America's healthcare crisis, but brilliant in
its simplicity. Its provisions can fit on a postcard ;and Kotlikoff provides one, ready to be copied
and mailed to your representative in Congress. We're electing a new president in 2008; let's choose
a new healthcare system, too ;one that works.


About Laurence J. Kotlikoff

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LAURENCE J. KOTLIKOFF is a William Fairfield Warren Professor of Economics at Boston University, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Fellow of the Econometric Society, and former Senior Economist, President's Council of Economic Advisers. Coauthor of The Coming Generational Storm and Spend 'Til the End and author of The Healthcare Fix, and Bloomberg columnist, Kotlikoff publishes extensively in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and financial websites on financial reform, taxes, saving, growth, deficits, Social Security, healthcare, pensions, and personal finance.
Published September 7, 2007 by The MIT Press. 128 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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