"What this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you…And here’s what you  need  to  know...I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits...now or in the future, period.”

So spoke President Barack Obama in his address to Congress earlier this month, for the first time laying out  more  specific goals for healthcare reform. To persuade the American people to support  his health reform agenda, the President has made two simple promises. First, his plan will benefit everyone who already has health insurance. Second, his plan will not add to the nation’s yawning budget deficit. Both claims are essentially false, and examining them offers economic lessons for reform.

Will the health care plans lead to higher taxes, deficits, and health care costs without health gains? Glenn Hubbard of Columbia and John Cogan and Daniel Kessler of Stanford think so.

Cogan, John; Kessler, Daniel; and Hubbard, R. Glenn (2009) "Obama's Gamble: Doubling Down on a Flawed Insurance Model," The Economists' Voice: Vol. 6 : Iss. 10, Article 2.

The working paper is below


overlay image