Ideas worth pondering

From Mark Kleiman, via Matt Yglesias:

Since the Veterans Administration, since its reform under Bill Clinton,
now has the best medical-records system going and produces high-quality
health care at a reasonable cost, could we move a baby step toward
national health insurance by allowing non-veterans to buy into the VA
system at a price equal to whatever the VA figures is its marginal

I find this idea appealing: this is a market test of whether the federal government could take better care of most of us.  (In case you are wondering, I wouldn’t buy in.)  In any case, a reform like this could deflect the pressure for trying a related idea on a non-experimental basis.  But if you think more government involvement in health care is desirable, well, this change should suffice to get us where we need to go.  And if you don’t think the VA could handle the extra demand, for whatever reasons, let’s set up a copycat institution.  If you are too worried about adverse selection, read Alex’s earlier post.


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