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Universal Public Health Insurance and Private Coverage: Externalities in Health Care Consumption

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  • Sherry A. Glied
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    Abstract

    Inequality in access to health care services, through private purchase, appears to pose policy challenges greater than inequality in other spheres. This paper explores how inequality in access to health care services relates to social welfare. I examine the sources of private demand for health insurance and the ramifications of this demand for health, for patterns for government spending on health care services, and for individual and social well-being. Finally, I evaluate the implications of a health tax as a response to the externalities of health service consumption, and provide a rough measure of the tax in the context of the Canadian publicly-financed health care system.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13885.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13885.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13885

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    1. Johnson, David B & Pauly, Mark V, 1969. "Excess Burden and the Voluntary Theory of Public Finance," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 36(143), pages 269-76, August.
    2. Lindsay, Cotton M & Feigenbaum, Bernard, 1984. "Rationing by Waiting Lists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 404-17, June.
    3. Iversen, Tor, 1997. "The effect of a private sector on the waiting time in a national health service," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 381-396, August.
    4. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1996. "Public Provision of Private Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 57-84, February.
    5. Antonia Morga & Ana Xavier, . "Hospital specialists' private practice and its impact on the number of NHS patients treated and on the delay for elective surgery," Discussion Papers 01/01, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Mark Stabile, 2001. "Private insurance subsidies and public health care markets: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 921-942, November.
    7. Manning, Willard G. & Marquis, M. Susan, 1996. "Health insurance: The tradeoff between risk pooling and moral hazard," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 609-639, October.
    8. Lindsay, Cotton M, 1969. "Medical Care and the Economics of Sharing," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 36(144), pages 351-62, November.
    9. Olivella, Pau, 2003. "Shifting public-health-sector waiting lists to the private sector," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 103-132, March.
    10. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Omar Paccagnella & Vincenzo Rebba & Guglielmo Weber, 2013. "VOLUNTARY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE AMONG THE OVER 50s IN EUROPE," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 289-315, 03.

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