Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 02, 2023
Jonathan picture

MIT Economist Jonathan Gruber discusses federal health care reform

Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, gave a lecture Thursday at Union South on the current national issues of health care reform, including the implementation of “Obamacare.”

Gruber helped construct the Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform Law, signed in 2006, which now covers two-thirds of the state’s uninsured residents and later influenced the creation of the Affordable Care Act.

He used a metaphor of a “three-legged stool” to describe the act, which he and Gov. Mitt Romney collaborated on for approval in Massachusetts.

The three legs include: having both healthy people and those with preexisting health issues pay the same price for care, an individualized mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance and the creation of subsidies to make health insurance affordable.

Gruber argues the implementation of “Obamacare” will lead to a deficit reduction of $100 billion over the next decade. He also said it will introduce “exchanges,” or more options of health care choices, which will create competition among insurance companies and lead to lower costs.

Additionally, he stated the federal government is willing to pay 100 percent of the first three years of health insurance for people under the poverty line. He listed states such as Texas and Florida, which have declined creating a Medicaid program for those in poverty.

“They’re not taking it seriously in two senses,” he said. “The first sense is the most heinous of all, which is the Medicaid expansion.”

Gruber said Wisconsin has covered a large share of uninsured people but has not expanded coverage as widely as states such as California and Minnesota.

Gruber argued two main sources of funding should be utilized for “Obamacare:” spending cuts and tax increases, which could both be potentially controversial and favorable for different reasons. Additionally, he argued spending cuts would slow the growth of reimbursements to hospitals that provide Medicare, and tax increases would largely affect the wealthy who earn over $250,000 a year.

Some of the more favorable aspects would include reducing overpayments to private health insurance companies as well as increased business opportunities for insurance, pharmaceutical and numerous other companies.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox
Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Cardinal