Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The costs of single-payer health insurance

Here is today's required reading. In 1995, Taiwan began providing government-run health insurance for everyone; by the end of the year, almost everyone in the country had enrolled and abandoned their US-style system of mixed private and public hospitals and free market insurance. What happened to health care costs? In the first seven years they ... stayed about the same.

That's right. They went from 57% insured to 97% insured without increasing overall spending on health care. People liked it, used it, remained healthy, and it was just as affordable as the private system that had insured not much more than half the population. And that's in a country that had a GDP of $13,000/person in 1995.

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