Health Care Reform or More Affordable Health Care?

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This article investigates the impact on the U.S. economy of making health care more affordable. We compare health care cost reductions with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) using a rich life cycle general equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents. We found that all policies were able to reduce uninsured population, but the PPACA was the most effective: in the long run, less than 5% of Americans would remain uninsured. Cost reductions alleviated the government budget, while tax hikes were needed to finance the reform. Feasible cost reductions are less welfare improving than the PPACA.

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