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Int J Health Serv. 1992;22(2):197-215.

Private insurance reform in the 1990s: can it solve the health care crisis?


A number of health insurance reform proposals have surfaced at the state governmental level in the United States. These include Medicaid expansion for the below-poverty or near-poverty uninsured, state subsidy to individuals and/or businesses for the purchases of health insurance, risk pools for the medically uninsurable, insurance industry-initiated reforms within the small group market, the promotion of "stripped down" insurance plans that reduce premium cost, and state mandating of employer-sponsored health insurance for the employed uninsured. All of these insurance reform proposals have serious limitations: (1) they fail to address the inequities of the underwriting principle by which older and sicker people pay more for health insurance than the young and healthy population; (2) they extend the illogical linkage of employment and health insurance; and (3) they do not slow the rate of health cost inflation nor do they contain a mechanism to finance broader health coverage through savings within the health sector. An alternative to insurance reform is the establishment of a social insurance program that brings the entire population into a single risk pool.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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