Research / BFI Working PaperNov 09, 2020

How Would Medicare for All Affect Health System Capacity? Evidence from Medicare for Some

Jeffrey Clemens, Joshua Gottlieb, Jeffrey Hicks

Proposals to create a national health care plan such as “Medicare for All” rely heavily on reducing the prices that insurers pay for health care. These changes affect physicians’ short-run incentives for care provision and may also change health care providers’ incentives to invest in capacity, thereby influencing the availability of care in the long term. We provide evidence on these responses using a major Medicare payment change combined with survey data on physicians’ time use. We find evidence that physicians increase their time spent on capacity building when remuneration increases, and that they are subsequently more willing to accept new patients – especially those who may be the residual claimants on marginal capacity. These forces imply that short-run supply curves likely differ from long-run supply curves. Policymakers need to account for how major changes to payment incentives would influence the investments that determine health system capacity.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Nov 19, 2020

When Nurses Travel: Labor Supply Elasticity During COVID-19 Surges

Joshua Gottlieb, Avi Zenilman, R.N.
Topics:  Health care
BFI Working Paper Jun 12, 2023

The Spillover Effects of Top Income Inequality

Joshua Gottlieb, David Hémous, Jeffrey Hicks, Morten Olsen
Topics:  Employment & Wages
BFI Working Paper Jul 14, 2023

Who Values Human Capitalists’ Human Capital? The Earnings and Labor Supply of U.S. Physicians

Joshua Gottlieb, Maria Polyakova, Kevin Rinz, Hugh Shiplett, Victoria Udalova
Topics:  Health care