And I don’t think a market-based approach will do it. It’s certainly not getting the job done right now:
As Dylan Scott notes (boldface mine):
Just a decade ago, the average American with employer-sponsored coverage had a deductible of $303. Flash forward just one decade, and that number now sits at $1,350.
What this means is that Americans who do need medical care are being asked to spend significantly more to get it. There is a growing number of Americans who have to spend more than $1,000 on medical bills before their health insurance coverage kicks in…
As deductibles rise, patients are increasingly finding themselves on the hook for the actual price of medical care. This includes patients like Bradley Sroka, who I wrote about earlier this year after his daughter’s short visit to the emergency room where she received antibiotic ointment left the family with a $937 bill. The family was on the hook for the entire bill because they were still within their insurance plan’s deductible.
When expanding Romneycare nationally was first proposed (what would be the ACA or ‘Obamacare’), I noted that many people would hate the deductibles. If you’re not in a really good plan with low deductibles, many people would end up paying a lot for medical care. That doesn’t mean it didn’t do some very good things, such as ending denials due to pre-existing conditions or preventing massive amounts of medical debt. But when 40% of Americans can’t meet a $400 emergency expense, a couple thousand dollars of medical bills still means they are going into debt–or not receiving medical treatment. This isn’t working, and this is not having nice things.