Expanding the reach of healthcare

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Given at least 46 million people uninsured or underinsured in this country what is the next best alternative?

Who should handle the change if there is one? (Think critically rather than an opinion, i.e. economic costs, public v. private, governmental intervionists v. free market economics)

There are three options.

First (used in all industrialized nations except the U.S., where it is used only for seniors) is a publicly funded health insurance.

Second (also widely used in the industrialized world, and also in the U.S., where it is used only for providing healthcare to veterans of armed forces) is direct provision of healthcare by the public sector.

Third is an emulation of car insurance requirement. The state of Massachusetts is trying it now. Every resident of the state is required to have health insurance, except children, whose insurance is paid for by the state. Individuals and families who cannot afford health insurance, must apply for state aid to get it.

Each option has its critics. It is quite likely that none of the three is perfect. It is open to debate which, if any, would bring about an improvement compared to the current situation.

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