Mandates and the Affordability of Health Care
AbstractThis paper examines the economic rationale of affordability exemptions in the context of a health insurance mandate. On its face, an affordability exemption makes little sense-- it exempts people from purchasing a good that policymakers believe benefits them. I provide an economic definition of affordability and discuss how it is implemented in the contexts of food, housing, and health care. Affordability standards are frequently used in food and housing policy making, but both empirically and theoretically health care operates quite differently than do these other merit goods. These differences help explain why the use of affordability in health policymaking is so different from its use in these other contexts. I conclude with a discussion of the relationship between mandates and exemptions in other health care systems.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14545.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-12-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2008-12-14 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2008-12-14 (Insurance Economics)
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