More red than purple

A colleague at Boston University has unveiled a “purple” health plan, with 5 Nobel Laureate in Economics amongst the endorsers. Maybe I’m color blind, but I just don’t see the blue in this plan.

Don’t look for Paul Krugman to join them soon. The plan is quite red:  nationally capped vouchers delivered exclusively through private insurers and providers. Medicare & Medicaid go away; as does administered pricing and every cost-control feature in the ACA.

The only plausible blue element is the individually risk adjusted waiver and the non-discrimination rules, but plans can still set prices so I predict the same trendlines as the Ryan proposal: everyone pays more out of pocket.

One more idea in the plan – eliminate the employer health insurance tax exclusion from income. But that’s hardly blue, since it was proposed by President Bush.


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