Covering the Uninsured in the U.S.
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.
Paper prepared for Journal of Economic Literature. I am grateful to Bert Lue, David Ovadia and Janet Zhou for excellent research assistance, to the Kaiser Family Foundation for funding, and to Roger Gordon and the referees for very helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- The U.S. is the only wealthy industrialized nation that does not guarantee universal health care for its citizens. Currently 47 million...
Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 571-606, September.