Analyze changes to the current US healthcare system.

opic: Political Economics critical analysis Essay

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Analyse and evaluate multiple questions and issues around this policy change while sounding like an economist. In the provided materials is the topics and additional instructions needed to complete this essay. The topic provided to me is the one regarding Income maintenance programs or topic #2 on the paper assignment document. The 4 standards provided in the instructions are very important for getting a good grade on this essay so should be followed precisely. Also I need someone with a background in Economics so they sound and use appropriate Economics terms while analyzing. If possible use “Economics of the Public Sector 4thed.by Joseph Stiglitz and Jay Rosengard” as a source. I will provide a pdf so that you will not have to search the internet for it. More specifically chapters 15 and 16 will be the chapters used. Please read and follow the paperassignment document attached for perfect detailed instructions. As stated above I was assigned topic #2 Income Maintenance programs. Also there should be a minimum of 4 sources used in this essay. Title should be Analysis of a Hypothetical Income Maintenance program.

POLITICAL ECONOMY

Paper Assignment

Paper Assignment:  Your final paper will be approx. 10 – 15 pages double spaced. (In 12 point font that is approx.. 2500 – 4000 words).  There is no specific page requirement for the rough draft, but the more complete your rough draft, the easier it will be to write a good final paper because I can basically tell you how to write a good paper from a fairly complete rough draft.

There are 3 different paper topics.  You will end up writing on only 1 of these topics.  Each topic has certain aspects that are intentionally (and unintentionally) left vague.  If you think some of these details are important, you are free in your paper to discuss why.  Also your audience for the paper is the instructor of the class so no problem with (correctly) using technical terms (marginal, etc.)

You must have a bibliography and cite at least 4 sources, only 1 of which can be the textbook.  Use the APA style for footnotes and bibliography.  (For more information, see https://apastyle.apa.org/ as discussed in class)  Regardless of which topic you end up working on, your work will be judged by the following standards (In order of importance):

  1. Quality of reasoning. Do you sound like an economist? Are your arguments using sound economic priciples and reasoning?
  1. Quality of your research. Have you found any data that could shed light on one or more of these issues?  Have you found authoritatives sources who can support and add insight to your reasoning.
  1. Quality of writing. Is your grammar and punctuation correct?  Are your ideas being coveyed clearly will appropriate vocabulary and usage?  Have you followed correct APA style?
  1. Breadth of coverage and following directions. Have you talked about all the relevant issues?  Did you, to some extent, address all of the changes mentioned. Have you met the length requirements?

Rough draft and Peer review:  On rough drafts, but sure your name appears only at the beginning of the first page or just in the subject line of the email and nowhere in the document. The name will be deleted in the copy sent to the other students for evaluation.  Obviously grades for the rought draft cannot be based on quality.  The whole point of a rough draft is that it is not a final product.  As mentioned early, the biggest reason to take the rough draft submission seriously is so you can get spedific feedback on your final paper.  With that in mind, students who submit short, very incomplete rough drafts will not receive full credit for their rough draft submission.

Peer review:  You will get another students rough draft sometime October 21st.  Your evaluation of that rough draft will be due October 26th.  For grades on the peer review, there is the issue of the quality of the rough draft you are evaluating.  Specifically, some people will be given a rough draft that is quite complete with lots of material to critique, while others may be given something much shorter.  For those of you in the latter position, I would say that your grade on the peer review will be more heavily based on the suggestions you give about additional work, rather than the analysis of what is there.  For people in the former situation, the weights will be reversed.  If you submit your rough draft after 10/2, you can still receive credit and a critique for you rough draft, but will lose the points associated with the peer review assignment.

Because of the peer review of the rough drafts, I cannot have more than ½ of you doing the same topic.  So I’m asking you to do the following.  In the email with this assignment, or with this assignment on Canvas, is an Excel file that asks you to rank your preferences for each topic, with 1 being the options you would most prefer, 3 being the least, and 2 in the middle.  It would also be acceptable to have two tie for first so your rankings would be 1, 1, 3. However, don’t rank 1, 3, 3.   Fill out this form and email me a copy.  I need that by Friday 10/2 at 7am. I will email you which topic you have been assigned by class that day .  If I don’t receive anything from you by Friday morning, I will assign you the least popular topic.  So there is no grade penalty for not turning in this ranking.  If more than ½ the class choose the same topic as their 1st choice, the people with the highest total score on the first 3 HW’s will be given preference.  Also, if after doing some preliminary work, you decide you want to change topics, that will be allowed as long as less than ½ the class have the topic you want to change to or you find a person to exchange topics with.  If you submit your rough draft after 10/2, you can still receive credit for you rough draft, but will lose the points associated with the peer review assignment.

Rank the following paper topics from 1(best) to 3(worst)

#1.  US healthcare – See Chapter 13 for basic background and discussion of general issues of current US healthcare system.

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You will be analyzing the following changes to the current US healthcare system.  These changes are similar to the system adopted by Switzerland

  1. A) Medicare, Medicaid and employer-based insurance will be eliminated.
  2. B) Everyone who resides in the US and files a US tax return, or a claimed dependent on a US tax return, must purchase a basic insurance policy from a private provider of insurance. Failure to purchase insurance will result in fines, garnishment of wages, and other penalties.  If the insurance premium exceeds 10% of the household income, government funding will cover the rest.
  3. C) The federal government will set standards for the policies and available options for deductibles, etc. Companies will be regulated to charge zero profit rates for these policies (similar to a regulated utility). These policies cannot mandate medical services be provided by a specific doctor, hospital, medical group, etc.
  4. D) Insurance companies will not be allowed to deny anyone from purchasing basic coverage at the regulated price.
  5. E) All basic policies will require the consumer to pay something in the range of the first $100 in medical expenses per year. This can vary depending on policy options.  Basic insurance will cover 90% of all expenses covered by the basic policy beyond the initial $100 with a maximum individual contribution of $5000 per year or 10% of annual income whichever is smaller.
  6. F) Certain preventative procedures: Pre-natal care, vaccinations, cancer screenings, etc. are provided at no consumer cost.  Failure to have these procedures can result in increased deductibles or other financial penalties.
  7. G) Companies are free to offer additional insurance options above and beyond the basic coverage. These policies are not subject to regulated prices, can be denied to any individual by the insurance company, and insurer is free to set qualifying standards for such additional policies (taking a physical to qualify, etc.)
  8. H) Specific anti-trust regulations will prevent insurance companies from having any financial interest in companies that provide health services, and special scrutiny will be taken when looking at mergers of hospitals, and other firms providing healthcare services.

#2.  Income maintenance programs– See Chapters 15 and 16 for basic background on current welfare and social insurance programs.

  1. All means tested and income transfer programs of the government will be eliminated. This includes SNAP, Social Security,Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Medicare, housing subsidies, unemployment insurance, workfare, TANF, earned income tax credit, etc.
  1. Everyone over 18 years of age will receive a monthly electronic transfer into their bank account equivalent to an annual payment of $12,000. Additionally, funds will be provided to purchase a health insurance policy for the individual.  If the individual shows proof of insurance, they can receive this money directly as well.  Adults will also receive an additional $5000 for each dependent under 21 listed on their tax return.  A portion of this money will also go to their health insurance with the same rules for return of that money of health insurance is already provided.
  1. This money is not directly subject to Federal Income Tax. Each person can earn up to $25,000 in income without a decrease in these funds.  Above $25,000, the recipient loses $0.20 in benefit for each $1 earned.  Depending on whether or not they have insurance and or dependants, this causes benefits to completely end around $90,000 to $110,000 in annual income

Two items to note if you do this topic:

  1. There would obviously be a huge transition period for old people already receiving social security. Rather than wrting a plan for the transition  and having you evaluate that as well, just assume there is some transition plan that would be included and ignore transition issues in your discussion.
  2. Don’t spend much time on the health insurance issue. The idea is that since Medicare and Medicaid are going away, we are going to guarantee health care access to people in a different way through private insurance.  If you are interested in health care issues, do #1.  Don’t talk about those issues under this topic.

#3 Federal Income Tax – See Chapter 22 for background on the US Federal Income Tax and Chapter 23 on Corporate Income Tax.

The base for federal taxation will be changed from income to consumption.  Specifically, taxes owed will be calculated as follows:

  1. All forms of income are added into Adjusted Gross Income. This includes formerly tax-exempt bond income, all government cash payments (in-kind transfers like SNAP, housing subsidies, etc., will not count) gifts and inheritance, etc.  Any income realized from the sale of an asset (residential housing, stocks, etc.) is included in full in current income.
  2. Besides deducting business expenses as currently allowed, also deduct forms of saving and investment: increases in bank accounts, stock purchases, bond purchases, non-residential real estate purchases, pension contributions, etc., from AGI.
  3. Owner-occupied housing is a little tricky. Treat all down payments and payments on principle as saving (deducted from AGI).  Any other expenses (interest, improvements, etc.) will be treated as consumption and therefore, not deductible.  The net proceeds from the sale of the home will be counted as income (added to AGI) as described above.
  4. After calculating AGI, the standard deduction will be $15,000 filing single, $26,000 filing jointly, and $6,000 per dependent., will be taken to calculate taxable income. There are no other itemized deductions or tax credits.  So AGI – standard deduction = taxable income
  5. There will be two brackets. The first $25,000 of taxable income will be taxed at a 25% rate.  All taxable income above that will be taxed at a 49% rate.  If taxes owed is less than zero, no money is refunded.  Itemized deductions no longer allowed except as previously described (business expenses and savings)
  6. Since firms do not consume, there is no longer a separate corporate income tax.

If you have evidence that this structure will generate significantly more or less tax, you are free to talk about that but you can also assume that the following changes generate the same tax revenue as the current system of federal income and corporate tax.

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