On May 2, 2007, The Hamilton Project hosted a policy seminar on a proposal from Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation to move toward universal coverage by evolving beyond the traditional model of employer-sponsored health insurance. Butler proposed three areas of reform:
create state-chartered insurance exchanges to offer portable health plans
transform employers into facilitators of health care coverage, rather than sponsors
reform the tax treatment of health care to give state exchanges the same tax exemptions enjoyed by the current employer-based system.
The author was joined by Jerome Grossman, Director of the Health Care Delivery Policy Program at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government; Len Nichols, Director of Health Policy for the New America Foundation; and JoAnn Volk, Legislative Representative for the AFL-CIO, for a roundtable discussion about his proposal. Jason Furman, Brookings Senior Fellow and Director of The Hamilton Project, moderated the panel.
Butler's proposal was one of four alternative discussion papers released by The Hamilton Project during its April 10, 2007 "Who's Got the Cure? Four Options for Achieving Universal Coverage" event. The rest of the papers highlighted a range of policy proposals for achieving the goal for universal health care coverage for all Americans.