By Arnold Kling
Laurence Kotlikoff suggests this.
All Medicare participants would receive individual-specific vouchers on October 1st of each year to purchase insurance coverage for the following calendar year. The size of the voucher would be based on the participant’s current medical condition (an idea first suggested by Peter Ferrara of the Institute for Policy Innovation and John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis). A healthy 67 year-old might get a voucher for $7,500, whereas an 85 year old with pancreatic cancer might get a voucher for $85,000. The vouchers would take account of the participant’s age, region, sex, and other factors that affect health costs. Because those in the worst medical shape would get the largest vouchers, insurance carriers would be happy to sign them up.
For Discussion. Compared with the proposal for the government to provide catastrophic reinsurance, what are the benefits and drawbacks of Kotlikoff’s idea?