A Plan for Achieving Universal Health Coverage

Combining the New with the Best of the Past

Elliot K. Wicks, Jack A. Meyer and Sharon Silow-Carroll have crafted a proposal that would provide health coverage for all Americans. The authors contend that the plan would achieve universal coverage while reducing the fragmentation and inequities of the present financing system, simplifying administration of health coverage, and maintaining the role of market-based decision-making and employer-sponsored private health insurance. Three elements are the keys to ensuring that coverage is universal: (1) Generous tax credit subsidies would ensure that everyone had the means to buy coverage, (2) federal law would require everyone to purchase coverage, and (3) a "fall-back" coverage system would be in place to guarantee temporary coverage for anyone who would otherwise fall through the cracks.