Avik Roy – Reform All Health Care Programs, Not Just Obamacare

As Roy writes in the Weekly Standard:

Among wealthy nations, two of the best performers on per-capital public health care spending are Switzerland ($1,628 per person in 2010) and Singapore (just $813). It’s no accident that according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, Switzerland ranked fourth-freest and Singapore ranked second. (The U.S. was a distant 12th.)

Why do Switzerland and Singapore do so well? Because they harness market forces to offer high-quality coverage at a low price. There are no government-run insurers in Switzerland; about two-fifths of the population qualifies for means-tested premium subsidies, while everyone else purchases unsubsidized private insurance. Singapore has a universal system of consumer-driven health savings accounts and high-deductible insurance. Neither are libertarian utopias, but both are considerably freer than the government-fueled disaster in the United States.

Switzerland and Singapore provide the inspiration for Roy’s recently released health care plan,Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency, published by the Manhattan Institute. Here’s Roy’s description of the plan:

The plan would replace the entire suite of government-run health care programs: not just Obamacare, but also Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. Over thirty years, we estimate that it would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion, make the Medicare Trust Fund permanently solvent, and reduce the cost of single health insurance policies by 17 percent.

It would repeal nearly all of Obamacare’s tax hikes, its constitutionally injurious individual mandate, and a large swath of Obamacare’s federal insurance regulations. Over time, it would fully replace single-payer health care in the U.S. with what conservatives have long favored: tax credits for the purchase of high-deductible health insurance and health savings accounts. In other words, it would take the number of Americans on single-payer health care from over 100 million in 2017 to nearly zero.

Because the plan deregulates the delivery of health insurance, it makes coverage far more affordable; we estimate that 12 million more Americans would have health insurance under the plan than under Obamacare, despite the fact that the plan substantially reduces federal and state health spending.

Read more of Roy’s plan in the Weekly Standard.