Tag Archives: insurance

When social policy goes wrong

When social policy experts create a new intervention to solve some social problem or make people’s lives better, there’s two possible outcomes they’re expecting: either the intervention works, or it doesn’t. But what we forget is that there’s a third … Continue reading

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“Remedy and Reaction”: Reactions

Generals are always fighting the last war is a standard political cliché, meaning that politicians have a tendency to overgeneralize from previous experience. Democrats who lost the 1993 health care reform fight vowed not to repeat the same apparent mistakes … Continue reading

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National Salary Insurance – the wrong solution to the right problem

It’s become fashionable among the British left to describe social security as broken – a cornerstone of the original welfare state that not only has lost its political support, but now actively causes worklessness and ‘dependency’.  In a revealing sign … Continue reading

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Does Health Insurance Prevent Poverty? Evidence from OHIE

The early results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (OHIE), a natural experiment in the state of Oregon that provided previously ineligible poor adults with the chance to lottery for coverage in Medicaid (public insurance for the poor), are astounding. … Continue reading

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Revisiting American Inequality: Did the Poor Really Get Poorer?

American income inequality is commonly told as a story of divergence: since the 1970s, the share of income going to the top of income distribution has skyrocketed, while the share of income going to the bottom of the income distribution … Continue reading

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The UK Budget: the end of National Insurance?

Budget day is always a classic piece of British political theatre. The magic of the ‘red box’ held by the Chancellor, the routines and rituals at the Palace of Westminster, the near-impossibility of actually taking in this myriad of policy details … Continue reading

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The UK’s recession safety net: not as stingy as you thought

UK unemployment benefits are known for being pretty stingy.  I’ve previously mentioned how they have fallen behind living standards since the early 1980s, and put us towards the bottom end of the OECD table of generosity. But there’s a problem … Continue reading

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The Consequences of Health Care Design for Equity and Access: Cross-National Evidence

A few days ago Ben (channeling Paul Pierson) posed the provocative question: does the welfare state still matter? Because welfare states are so complex in structure and function, it’s unlikely that there is a single answer across all domains of … Continue reading

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Is health insurance like a television? (or, What is the point of health insurance?–Part 2)

In my last post I identified an argumentative move that has been used to defend reforms like the Affordable Care Act. The move goes like this: “The whole point of health insurance is that it’s a vehicle to redistribute funds … Continue reading

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What is the point of health insurance? (Part 1)

When discussing the politics and ethics of health care policy and reform, one often hears claims or suspicions about the “special importance” of health care. To my mind, the strongest suspicion can be expressed thus: health care is of special … Continue reading

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