Funding Health Care for All Americans

A different funding strategy is necessary to bring about health care reform that is sustainable and comprehensive. If health expenditures continue to outpace the growth of other facets of the economy, health care will represent an even larger proportion of the gross domestic product.

The authors of this paper present an argument, using an economic perspective, for funding health care reform that provides health care to all Americans.

Key Findings:

  • Subsidization and compulsion are necessary and sufficient conditions that must be met in order to bring about universal coverage.
  • Taxes, tax exemptions and credit, and mandates are some of the strategies available to the Federal government for funding health care. Mandates can also be viewed as a type of taxation. Suggested dedicated tax options are those focused on consumption such as value added tax (VAT) or retail sales tax (RST).
  • Successful health care reform will require more efficient medical practices, elimination of gross quality lapses, and reigning in development and diffusion of new medical technology.

Health care reform that leads to coverage for all will involve a funding strategy where the public is willing and able to pay for expenditure growth in a manner that is equitable and efficient.

Keywords: Quality, Delivery Systems, Cost Effectiveness, Cost Containment, Financing