American-style health insurance greatly amplifies price-gouging opportunities for health care providers, who inflate prices both to enrich themselves and to subsidize and expand the nation’s health care enterprise. To the extent that lower- and middle-income Americans with private health coverage pay premiums that go to support and expand the system, they are subject to an unfair (regressive) “head tax” levied by unaccountable entities for ostensibly public but also private purposes. Lower-income premium payers also often pay for costly health coverage designed to suit the economic interests and values of professional and other elites rather than their own. They also appear to get less as a group out of their employers’ health plans than their higher-income coworkers. How the cost burdens and benefits of Americans’ health care are distributed has not been sufficiently recognized as the fundamental issue of social justice that it is - even after the major reform legislation of 2010.
Clark C. Havighurst & Barak D. Richman, Who Pays? Who Benefits? Unfairness in American Health Care, 25 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 493-526 (2011)
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Health insurance premiums, Cost of medical care, Tax incentives, Health care reform, Health insurance