In a new paper, Niskanen Center senior fellow Ed Dolan argues that Universal Catastrophic Coverage (UCC) provides the best framework for achieving truly bipartisan health care reform. Under our proposal: 

  • A universal, catastrophic tier of health insurance would cover medical expenses in full for people below a low-income threshold, while asking those who can afford it to pay their fair share through income-based deductibles and coinsurance. 
  • The cost-sharing features of UCC would provide ample scope for the use of market-based incentives to improve quality, transparency, and competition, while helping make the private health insurance market stable at affordable premiums. 
  • UCC would provide the flexibility needed to transition from existing public programs and employer-provided plans to a less fragmented system, and without changing the split between public and household sources of health care spending.

Dolan’s past writing on UCC has appeared in the New York Times, Vox, the Milken Institute and elsewhere, yet this paper represents his most detailed and comprehensive defense of UCC to date. From how to deal with preventative health care, to the problems with reforms based on “high risk pools” and reinsurance — he has it covered.

The full paper is available here.