Arnold Kling

Choosing to be Uninsured

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Why is the number of Americans not covered by health insurance on the rise? David Cutler writes

insurance coverage declined primarily because fewer workers took up coverage when offered it, not because fewer workers were offered insurance or were eligible for it. The reduction in take-up is associated with the increase in employee costs for health insurance. Estimates suggest that increased costs to employees can explain the entire decline in take-up rates in the 1990s.

In other words, when people are faced with more of the cost of health insurance, they decline it.

Discussion Question. Should people be forced to have health insurance?

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