Tag Archives: ACA

It’s not that simple

16 May

It’s not that simple.

The US health coverage system would be the most complex on planet earth according to the article referenced below [1].

Indeed the author of the article published in the rubric “perspective” of the new England Journal of Medicine wrote (quote):

“…the ACA was crafted to leave in place as much as possible of the preexisting system of health insurance. The problem was — and is — that this decision meant that reform had to be built on the most complex, kludgy, and costly system on planet Earth. Multiple layers of health coverage — as a fringe benefit of private employment, as compensation for military service, as public charity for the poor, as public coverage for the elderly and disabled, and as a private commodity purchased by individuals in a remarkably dysfunctional market — overlap and intersect to pay for care through a bewildering variety of agents in a system that even experts seldom fully comprehend.” (end of quote).

Until now I thought it was the French system that occupied the top place with numerous special schemes. If you want to have an idea of the French system you can consult the document issued by the French Agency for the Development and Coordination of International Relations (ADECRI) [2].
click to read the document

Anyway, be it in the US or in France, a nation wide health care coverage system unavoidably has to be complex if it intends to be comprehensive.

1- Aaron HJ. Here to Stay — Beyond the Rough Launch of the ACA. N Engl J Med. 2014 May;Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/nejmp1404194 .

2- ADECRI The French Social Protection System, booklet downloadable from the Agency’s website: http://www.adecri.org. Copyright © ADECRI, 2008.


The effects of Expanding health coverage

8 Feb

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is practically a laboratory experiment at the scale of a continent that allows health economists to observe the effects of expending the health coverage to a whole population (a thing that Europeans have done and that they call modestly Universal Disease Coverage, in French couverture maladie universelle or CMU). Starting from his reading of a
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report the health economist Austin Frakt lists the incentives and disincentives to work that a mandatory health coverage creates. But in my view the point is: does the labor market need workers anymore, with or without health coverage? If it really needs workers then it would be better that they could afford care and rehabilitation, it is the interest of both the employer and the employee. If it doesn’t, the labor market will always consider that the costs are to high.
The blog the incidental economist is about health economics, below is the post with a link to the CBO report:

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