Expanding Medicare and Employer Plans to Achieve Universal Health Insurance
JAMA. 1991 May 15; 265(19): 2525-2528.
This article presents a proposal for expanding Medicare and employer-based health insurance plans to achieve universal health insurance. Under this proposed health care financing system, employers would provide basic health insurance coverage to workers and dependents, or pay a payroll tax contribution toward the cost of their coverage under Medicare. States would have the option of buying all Medicaid beneficiaries and other poor individuals into Medicare by paying the Medicare premiums and cost sharing. Other uninsured individuals would be automatically covered by Medicare. Employer plans would incorporate Medicare's provider payment methods. This proposal would result in incremental federal governmental outlays on the order of $25 billion annually. These new federal budgetary costs would be met through a combination of premiums, employer payroll tax, income tax, and general tax revenues. The principal advantage of this plan is that it draws on the strengths of the current system while simplifying the benefit and provider payment structure and instituting innovations to promote efficiency.
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