Megan McArdle comes to the defense of the high deductibles of the exchange policies that most people are buying.
“Health-care wonks have started to see health insurance less as a way to ensure health, and more as a way to avoid financial disaster. (As one health-care economist told me … Insurance is a financial product, and what it does really well is give people financial protection.) In other words, the alternative to buying health insurance may not be ‘dying young’; it may be bankruptcy, or at least, a trashed credit report after you’ve negotiated settlements on all your medical bills.”
“It’s not Obamacare’s fault that it didn’t manage to do the impossible: provide cheap, nearly comprehensive health-care coverage without ballooning the deficit. No other reform could have done it either, without tackling provider prices — and no politically feasible reform could have tackled provider prices, because America’s 12 million health-care workers would have been marching on Washington with pitchforks, or at least running tear-jerking ads to great popular effect.”
“You can’t really blame Obamacare for the fact that the most ‘affordable’ insurance offers rather scanty coverage for the average user. Though of course, you can blame the law’s architects for overpromising. They should have been more honest, with themselves and with voters, about the limits of what they could actually do. But of course if they had been, the law probably would never have passed.”