[EconTalk] Ed Dolan on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Ed Dolan on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

07/01/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=61455446
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Dolaninsurance.mp3

Economist Ed Dolan of the Niskanen Center talks about employer-based health insurance with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Dolan discusses how unusual it is relative to other countries that so many Americans get their health insurance through their employer and the implications of that phenomenon for the structure of the health insurance market. Dolan explores the drawbacks of this structure and makes the case for what he calls Universal Catastrophic Coverage.

Start Date: 2019-03-07

Finish Date: 2019-03-08


  • Not too much to record. American health insurance has always been so confusing to me that I think I only started understanding it about a year ago, and to that extent, this episode was a good 101 that verified that my recent understanding is correctish.
  • But because of my years of confusion, I don’t think I really understood what the important things in this episode were at all. The case for universal catastrophic coverage, which the episode blurb builds up, seemed to be blinked-and-I-missed-it.
  • One interesting thing was Dolan’s suggestion that reduced mobility within the United States may be caused by employees getting too tied to their existing health insurance.
  • The notion of health-insurance being a tax deduction; and therefore mandatory premiums being a pseudo-tax was again one of those American-specific things that I still haven’t fully grasped.

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