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AN NBER PUBLICATION ISSUE: No. 4, December 2007

The Bulletin on Aging & Health

With over 46 million non-elderly Americans currently lacking health insurance coverage, many policy makers are calling for reforms to reduce the ranks of the uninsured. One popular option is the "pay-or-play" mandate, in which employers are required to either provide health insurance for their employees or pay a penalty to offset costs the government incurs to provide health care for the uninsured. Massachusetts' recently enacted health care reform includes a small financial...

Research Summaries

Article
In discussions of health care reform, the Canadian system is often held up as a possible model for the U.S. The two countries' health care systems are very different-Canada has a single-payer, mostly publicly-funded system, while the U.S. has a multi-payer, heavily private system-but the countries appear to be culturally similar, suggesting that it might be possible for the U.S. to adopt the Canadian system. Much of the appeal of the Canadian system is that it seems to do...
Article
Over the past fifty years, medical expenditures have increased very rapidly, from 5 percent of GDP in 1960 to 16 percent today. It is widely believed that technological change is the main driver of these expenditure increases, bearing responsibility for at least half of the growth. While the adoption of a new medical technology results in an immediate increase in medical expenditures, that is only part of the story. What improvements in longevity or quality of life result...

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