To make coverage universal, Cutler advocates a $6,000 credit for poor families (and less, on a sliding scale, for others, tapering off to a small credit for people earning $50,000 and up). The credits would be redeemable as a sort of health-insurance voucher. Significantly, Cutler would extend credits to everyone -- even to people who are covered now. Many employers, for competitive reasons, would still offer coverage, but access to care would no longer depend on either employment status or age.
This approach makes sense. The problem, as the article notes, is that the policymaking elite believes that health care spending is "out of control," in which case Cutler's approach would make things worse rather than better.
What I fear is "out of control" is the demand that government step in to run the entire health care system as a "single payer."
For Discussion. What would be the arguments against the progressive voucher approach?