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Macroeconomic Consequences of Alternative Reforms to the Health Insurance System in the U.S

  • Zhigang Feng

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

This paper examines the macroeconomic and welfare implications of alternative re- forms to the U.S. health insurance system. In particular, I study the effect of the expansion of Medicare to the entire population, the expansion of Medicaid, an individ- ual mandate, the removal of the tax break to purchase group insurance and providing a refundable tax credit for insurance purchases. To do so, I develop a stochastic OLG model with heterogenous agents facing uncertain health shocks. In this model individ- uals make optimal labor supply, health insurance, and medical usage decisions. Since buying insurance is endogenous, my model captures how the reforms may affect the characteristics of the insured as well as health insurance premiums. I use the Medi- cal Expenditure Panel Survey to calibrate the model and succeed in closely matching the current pattern of health expenditure and insurance demand as observed in the data. Numerical simulations indicate that reforming the health insurance system has a quantitatively relevant impact on the number of uninsured, hours worked, and welfare.

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File URL: http://www.bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/eco/eco-working-papers/wp2009-08-JMP_Feng.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0908.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0908
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Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html

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  1. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  2. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 9382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Richard M. H. Suen, 2005. "Technological Advance and the Growth in Health Care Spending," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 13, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  5. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  6. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and Market Work: Is Scandinavia an Outlier?," NBER Working Papers 12890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gouveia, Miguel & Strauss, Robert P., 1994. "Effective Federal Individual Tax Functions: An Exploratory Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(2), pages 317-39, June.
  8. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2006. "Differential Mortality, Uncertain Medical Expenses, and the Saving of Elderly Singles," NBER Working Papers 12554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2008. "The Macroeconomics of Health Savings Accounts," Caepr Working Papers 2007-023, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  10. Imrohoroglu, Ayse, 1992. "The welfare cost of inflation under imperfect insurance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 79-91, January.
  11. Karsten Jeske & Sagiri Kitao, 2007. "U.S. tax policy and health insurance demand: can a regressive policy improve welfare?," Working Paper 2007-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Picone, Gabriel & Uribe, Martin & Mark Wilson, R., 1998. "The effect of uncertainty on the demand for medical care, health capital and wealth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 171-185, April.
  13. Eric Neumayer & Matthew A. Cole, 2003. "The Impact of Poor Health on Total Factor Productivity," HEW 0312001, EconWPA, revised 02 Nov 2004.
  14. Palumbo, Michael G, 1999. "Uncertain Medical Expenses and Precautionary Saving Near the End of the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 395-421, April.
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