NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Covering the Uninsured in the U.S.

Jonathan Gruber

NBER Working Paper No. 13758
Issued in January 2008
NBER Program(s):   AG   CH   HC   LS   PE

One of the major social policy issues facing the U.S. in the first decade of the 21st century is the large number of Americans lacking health insurance. This article surveys the major economic issues around covering the uninsured. I review the facts on insurance coverage and the nature of the uninsured; focus on explanations for why the U.S. has such a large, and growing, uninsured population; and discuss why we should care if individuals are uninsured. I then focus on policy options to address the problem of the uninsured, beginning with a discussion of the key issues and available evidence, and then turning to estimates from a micro-simulation model of the impact of alternative interventions to increase insurance coverage.

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Published: Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 571-606, September.

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