June 27, 2007 11:14AM

Announcing the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club

Inspired by National Review’s recent editorial and Andrew Sullivan’s embrace of same (as well as by Greg Mankiw), I have decided it would be fun and educational to keep tally of those who reject the idea that federal or state governments should strive to provide every American with health insurance. Call it the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club.

Here are the guiding principles of the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club:

  1. Health policy should focus on making health care of ever‐​increasing quality available to an ever‐​increasing number of people.
  2. To achieve “universal coverage” would require either having the government provide health insurance to everyone or forcing everyone to buy it. Government provision is undesirable, because government does a poor job of improving quality or efficiency. Forcing people to get insurance would lead to a worse health‐​care system for everyone, because it would necessitate so much more government intervention.
  3. In a free country, people should have the right to refuse health insurance.
  4. If governments must subsidize those who cannot afford medical care, they should be free to experiment with different types of subsidies (cash, vouchers, insurance, public clinics & hospitals, uncompensated care payments, etc.) and tax exemptions, rather than be forced by a policy of “universal coverage” to subsidize people via “insurance.”

If you’d like to join the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club, let me know by posting something to your own blog, or by emailing me here. Feel free to forward items from other like‐​minded individuals.

I predict that neither the American Medical Association, nor the Federation of American Hospitals, nor America’s Health Insurance Plans will join the Anti‐​Universal Coverage Club.