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Laurence Seidman is Chaplin Tyler Professor of Economics at the University of Delaware. He received his BA from Harvard University and PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several articles on health insurance public policy including “Medicare for All: An Economist's Case” (Challenge, January–February 2013); “Responsible Health Insurance Revisited” (Inquiry, summer 2005); and “Prefunding Medicare without Individual Accounts” (Health Affairs, September–October 2000). His books include The Earned Income Tax Credit (with coauthor Saul Hoffman; 1990); The USA Tax: A Progressive Consumption Tax (1997); Funding Social Security (1999); and Public Finance (a textbook with a chapter on health insurance; 2009).
Many problems facing the Affordable Care Act would disappear if the nation were instead implementing Medicare for All — the extension of Medicare to every age group. Every American would be automatically covered for life. Premiums would be replaced with a set of Medicare taxes. There would be no patient cost sharing. Individuals would have free choice of doctors. Medicare's single-payer bargaining power would slow price increases and reduce medical cost as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Taxes as a percentage of GDP would rise from below average to average for economically advanced nations. Medicare for All would be phased in by age.