Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Arthur Laffer has a history of brilliance (the Laffer Curve) and idiocy (predicting there wouldn't be a recession back in 2006). Today, he has an editorial in the Wall Street Journal which was brilliant.

While I don't think the government should be involved in health care at all, I have to give Laffer credit for at least coming up with what I would call a reasonable solution to the health care problem:
Rather than expanding the role of government in the health-care market, Congress should implement a patient-centered approach to health-care reform. A patient-centered approach focuses on the patient-doctor relationship and empowers the patient and the doctor to make effective and economical choices.

A patient-centered health-care reform begins with individual ownership of insurance policies and leverages Health Savings Accounts, a low-premium, high-deductible alternative to traditional insurance that includes a tax-advantaged savings account. It allows people to purchase insurance policies across state lines and reduces the number of mandated benefits insurers are required to cover. It reallocates the majority of Medicaid spending into a simple voucher for low-income individuals to purchase their own insurance. And it reduces the cost of medical procedures by reforming tort liability laws.
Depending on how LafferCare is implemented, it might work. It certainly won't be the catastrophe that ObamaCare will.


William R. Barker said...


Laffer got this from ME.


Listen... the other thing is... the most the government should do in terms of tax policy is to enable health insurance premiums to be paid on a "pre tax" basis. (And philosophically I'm against even that; I throw it out only as a sop to the economically ignorant who would otherwise certainly dig their heels in against rationalizing the present system.)

No third party payer; that's the deal. Just as you and I pay all our other expenses - including food, shelter, clothing, transportation, other insurance products - out of our earnings (or pay), so too should it be with catastrophic insurance premiums and out of pocket "normal" healthcare spending.


EdMcGon said...

The only problem I foresee is with catastrophic health care expenses, which most people cannot afford. But routine expenses should come out of pocket.

William R. Barker said...

"The only problem I foresee is with catastrophic health care expenses..."


Hmm... perhaps one more time:

ED. The INSURANCE ITSELF kicks in for CATASTROPHIC health care expenses.

We must return "insurance" into INSURANCE - not simply income transfer.

(Yes... I know you're with me...)