Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Economist: It would be terrible if people stopped depending on their employers for their health care.

Casey Mulligan says if the law actually applies to Congress, look for it to be far too bountiful, in a Speenhamland kind of way (see also Polanyi). The state, it seems, must do all it can to avoid producing healthy shirkers amongst the general populace, even if that requires dispensing a certain amount of injustice. A sad commentary on both human flourishing and the rule of law, is it not?  Excerpts:
To promote economic efficiency and the goal of universal health coverage, perhaps members of Congress should not be required to enroll in the new insurance exchanges.
...Because members of Congress are accustomed to high-quality medical care provided to them through federal employee benefit programs, one might expect that they would push for top quality care to be delivered through the exchanges too.
...If the exchange plans were good enough, people who are rushing to find a job, and people considering leaving their job, would no longer have to see employment as their only means of obtaining top quality, subsidized coverage. As a result, some of those would work less (see the Congressional Budget Office on some of health reform’s work incentives, and a 1994 explanation from Alan Krueger and Uwe E. Reinhardt). 
...Although politically incorrect and perhaps unfair, allowing members of Congress to keep their federal employee coverage might be the best thing for universal coverage and reducing the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the federal budget. 

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