Daily Archives: March 27, 2006

Who’s Paying?

Jane Galt has written a series of posts on health care that are worth while reading for all. The latest in the series is here and both Tyler Cowan and Arnold Kling quote this sentence:

Have the government pay for all health care expenditures above 15% of adjusted gross income, and cover 100% of health care expenditures by people living under 200% of the poverty line.

Both have suggestions to tweak Jane’s proposal and you should also read their posts.
Jane’s proposal with some tweaks has a lot to recommend it but the framing, yes, the framing needs to change. It needs to change for this and all other discussions that include a phrase similar to “..the government pay…” Everyone needs to be clear that the government really does not pay for anything. It takes money from you and I, the payers, and gives the money to someone else, the payees.

So, one thing missing from the above statement is the mechanism for and the rate at which the government is going to take money from you and me and distribute it to others. Once this is defined then let the payers decide whether they will fund this.