December 15, 2008

Brendan Maher and Peter Stris Publish Article on ERISA, Agency Costs, and the Future of Health Care in the United States

Authors: John Bronsteen, Brendan S. Maher, and Peter K. Stris

Title: Agency Costs, and the Future of Health Care in the United States

Publication: Fordham Law Review

Date: 2008

Abstract: Because so many Americans receive health insurance through their employers, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) plays a dominant role in the delivery of healthcare in the United States. The ERISA system enables employers and insurers to save money by providing inadequate healthcare to employees, thereby creating incentives for these agents to act contrary to the interests of their principals. Such agency costs play a significant role in the current healthcare crisis and require attention when considering reform. We evaluate the two major healthcare reform movements by exploring the extent to which each reduces agency costs. We find that agency cost analysis clarifies the benefits, limits, and uncertainties of each approach.

Suggested citation: John Bronsteen, Brendan S. Maher & Peter K. Stris, ERISA, Agency Costs, and the Future of Health Care in the United States, 76 Fordham L. Rev. 2297 (2008), available at  http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1114670.