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Financing the U.S. Health System: Issues and Options for Change

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Abstract:

This report, released by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Leaders’ Project on the State of American Health Care, examines the economic and policy implications of various options for restructuring the health care finance system, exploring the principal alternatives proposed by 2008 presidential candidates Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.
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A wide-range of policy options have been proposed to replace, modify or supplement the current health care financing system. This comprehensive study describes options that have been discussed in the past two years as part of proposals for health reform, including:
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* continuing current financing structure
* rolling back high-income tax cuts
* modifying the current tax exclusion for health benefits
* instituting a proposed play-or-pay model
* implementing a value-added tax.
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Additionally, the authors explore the role financing can play in improving the quality and value of care.