There's a good analysis of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan
(FEHBP) by Reed Abelson in The New York Times
today. Various presidential candidates are talking about the FEHBP in their stump speeches, suggesting that this country's 47 million uninsured could be covered by the same plan that covers their elected representatives. Bottom line: There's really nothing about the FEHBP that would either materially improve the uninsureds' access to health insurance or help to rein in costs. It's a private-insurance system with insurers competing for business. Underwriting, including favorable selection, and generous benefits largely replicate the problems the rest of us experience in our own private, employment-based system, and expanding FEHBP to 8 times more individuals than it currently covers would require changes in the program that would render it "FEHBP" in name only.