AIF Blog

Health Care Reform and Insurance Exchanges

Mar 27, 2012

As the Supreme Court weighs arguments on the requirement to buy health insurance contained in the health care reform law, we take a look back at a conversation between David Leonhardt and Paul Romer at the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival. They discuss the role businesses and unions play in our current health care system, which some argue favors employer-provided insurance.

Leonhardt and Romer confer about the missed opportunity of Free Choice Vouchers. FCV was a provision, authored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore), to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would give employees some ability to hold their employers and insurance companies accountable for offering affordable health insurance. The provision was cut from the appropriations bill during the budget crisis.

The labor unions and some business organizations, observes Leonhardt, aren't in favor of employees choosing insurance exchanges because they prefer the money to flow through them. Romer suggests that this a form of control over employees. Watch the quick clip here: