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Last spring when my colleagues and I were teaching a class on health insurance in America at the U-M Ford School of Public Policy, we asked our students to write their final papers on what they would change about the Affordable Care Act. Three of our earnest and committed students took on the task of trying to make the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program (CLASS Act) workable. All three came up with approaches for increasing enrollment in CLASS and making it more financially sustainable over the long term.
Many Americans have an almost visceral reaction against what is sometimes called "socialized medicine." Socialized medicine is often discussed in the context of the British Health Service – where the government is both the payer and the employer of those delivering care. But the irony is, we have a superb example of a very similar approach here in America: the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.