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Genetic Health Risks: The Case for Universal Public Health Insurance

Author

Listed:
  • Vicky Barham

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Rose Anne Devlin

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Olga Milliken

    (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of the public sector in providing genetic insurance and health care when health risks are genetically determined at conception. We characterize the ex ante efficient outcome (where individuals are placed behind the veil of ignorance), and demonstrate that this outcome cannot be achieved by private health insurance markets or by a government which cannot commit to a once-and-for-all transfer policy. In contrast, the desired outcome can be attained through public provision of universal health (genetic) insurance and of genetic testing, coupled with a public pension scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicky Barham & Rose Anne Devlin & Olga Milliken, 2016. "Genetic Health Risks: The Case for Universal Public Health Insurance," Working Papers 1605E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1605e
    as

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    File URL: http://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/1605e.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public health insurance; Genetic insurance; Genetic testing; Ex ante efficiency; Time inconsistent policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies

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