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Cogan on Health Care

In the latest episode of EconTalk, I talk with John Cogan about what’s wrong with the U.S. health care system. Most of our conversation focuses on the tax treatment of employer-provided medical insurance and the role of state mandates for health insurance.

Cogan has a fascinating hypothesis to explain the explosion in state mandates—requirements that insurers in a particular state must cover certain ailments. He argues that changes in federal law gave large employers the opportunity to self-insure. That in turn removed a political force opposing state mandates. Small employers didn’t have the lobbying clout to fight the state legislatures.

Upcoming podcasts this month will include a conversation with Bruce Bueno De Mesquita on his recent book, The Logic of Political Survival and a conversation with Milton Friedman on the impact of A Monetary History of the United States, 1870-1960 and Capitalism and Freedom.

A happy birthday to Milton, today. He’s 94.