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Nearly a decade after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, another sweeping reform of the United States health care system could soon be in the works. Democratic presidential hopefuls are laying out their plans to reduce the roughly 28 million uninsured Americans to zero, with proposals ranging from Medicare-for-All to a public option. But in doing so, are they overstating the extent of the problem?
In a recent article in RealClearPolicy, AEI’s James Capretta and Joseph Antos say the answer may be yes: The number of Americans truly unable to obtain health insurance coverage is much smaller than the topline number of 28 million would suggest, and this affects which policies are best-suited to improve health insurance coverage in the US. In this episode, we talk with James Capretta about his article and its implications for US health policy. We also discuss what the conservative vision for health policy should look like, what lessons can be gleaned from other countries’ health care systems, the Trump administration’s plans for lowering prescription drug prices, and much more.
James C. Capretta is a resident fellow and holds the Milton Friedman Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies health care, entitlement, and US budgetary policy. Previously he served as an associate director at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, where he was responsible for all health care, Social Security, welfare, and labor and education issues. He’s also served as a senior health policy analyst at the US Senate Budget Committee and at the US House Committee on Ways and Means.
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