Reinhardt: Let’s Have a Libertarian Option

Let us set up two distinct systems for health care within our nation. Call one the Social Solidarity system and the other the Libertarian system. Ask young people — at age 25 or so — to choose one or the other.

People joining the Social Solidarity system would know that they will be asked to subsidize their less fortunate fellow citizens in health care through taxes or premiums or both. They would also know, however, that the community will take care of them, and they will not go broke, should serious illness befall them.

People choosing the Libertarian system would not have to pay taxes to subsidize other people’s health care, and they would pay actuarially fair health insurance premiums — low for healthy people and high for sicker people.

Good stuff. More here. And, why restrict the choice to health care?

Comments (7)

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  1. Alex says:

    People object to this argument (and similar ones regarding Social Security) under the premise that unless everyone pitches in the system doesn’t work.

    Also, people will choose the “Libertarian” option and then complain when they get sick later and are denied the benefits of the other plan. Odds are that people would complain so much that politicians would cave and this plan would evaporate.

  2. david says:

    So let me guess: it would be a testament to our freedom when the libertarians die because they made a bad decision and are forced to suffer the consequences?

    Would it go something like this?

  3. Mike Ainslie says:

    Like it or not this is the 2 tiered system that we are heading for if nothing changes. We’ll have one group on Gov’t care and one group who pays for their own healthcare + the Gov’t health tax. Guess which group will get the better care?

  4. Brian says:

    Not a bad idea.

  5. Devon Herrick says:

    I haven’t read Uwe’s post yet — so my comment is based only on the information provided above. On its face, I like the concepte. However, I propose one change to the Libertarian Option. Instead of paying higher taxes or higher premiums that people would be required to pay under the Progressive, Social Solidarity System, Libertarians would — in addition to actuarially fair premiums — would be required to withhold an additional amount into an HSA to use for their own health care needs. Under the two systems, both the Progressive Social Solidarity adherents and the Libertarians would probably pay similar amounts in the early years. But the Libertarians would use the accumulated funds in their HSAs to subsidize the rising cost of premiums in the later years. Count me in advance as choosing the Libertarian Option.

  6. Dr. Steve says:

    If we were taxed only on earned income we would not need special saving accounts for retirement or HSA’s.

  7. John R. Graham says:

    It is more likely that the ultimate outcome will be the opposite of that which Alex and david predict. The Social Solidarity option will lurch into bankruptcy. (Social Security and Medicare are doing so, and they are financed by the entire population. Surely, similar programs financed by only part of the population would collapse even faster).

    In this case, would the government continue to tolerate the libertarians’ independence? Of course not: Their exemption from taxation to fund the Social Solidarity option would vanish like a puff of steam in the face of politicians’ attacks on their “greed” and “selfishness”.