The Agenda

The Recent History of the Debate Over Health Insurance Premiums

Peter Suderman of Reason describes how the debate over health insurance premiums has evolved in recent years. And Josh Barro of Business Insider raises broader questions about the wisdom of achieving redistribution via insurance mandates and community rating rather than the tax system. One takeaway: redistribution via taxes and transfers might be superior to redistribution via regulation, as the former is more transparent — but this transparency makes redistribution via taxes and transfers less politically attractive, and so we’re left deciding whether redistribution via regulation is better than nothing. I think this view is a little too cynical, but it’s not crazy.

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