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Amy M. Wolaver

In: 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 70: Economics of Health Insurance

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Economics of Health Insurance
Economics of health insurance

Despite the fact that the United States spends more money per capita than any other nation, not everyone is insured. Perhaps even more surprising, when one adds the various government indirect subsidizations of health care through the tax code to the direct expenditures on Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs, the total dollars spent per capita by the government on health care is also higher than any other industrialized nation, in which all achieve universal coverage (Woolhandler & Himmelstein, 2002).

Because financing of health care in the United States is achieved through a mix of public and private insurance, the system is complex. Health insurance markets are riddled with market failures, which have important implications for who is covered and ...

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