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Paying a Fair Share for Health Coverage and Care

By: Jill Bernstein
Published: January 2009

Expanding health coverage will involve changes in the premiums and taxes people pay for health insurance and the amounts they pay out-of-pocket for specific health care services. Payment arrangements must generate sufficient revenue, promote efficiency in health care delivery, assure access to care for people who have low income or are in poor health, and minimize administrative costs and burden. This paper evaluates alternative approaches—including social insurance programs, means-tested premium assistance, and income-related cost sharing—according to these criteria.