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Free Trade in Health Care: The Gains from Globalized Medicare and Medicaid

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Author Info

  • Dean Baker
  • Hye-Jin Rho

Abstract

The huge gap between the cost of health care in the United States and the cost in other countries with comparable health care outcomes suggests the potential for substantial gains from trade. This paper describes one mechanism for taking advantage of these gains – through a globalization of the country’s Medicare and Medicaid programs. The projections in this paper suggest that the country’s long-term budget situation would be substantially improved if beneficiaries of these two programs over the age of 65 were allowed to take advantage of the lower-cost health care available in other countries (that also have higher life expectancies than the U.S.). This could also allow them to enjoy much higher retirement incomes than they would otherwise receive.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in its series CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs with number 2009-38.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:epo:papers:2009-38

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Related research

Keywords: Free Trade; healthcare; Medicare; Medicaid;

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Cited by:
  1. Dean Baker, 2010. "The Budget Deficit Scare Story and the Great Recession," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2010-04, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

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