Clearly, John McCain isn’t reading the blog. Consider this McCain utterance by way of Josh Marshall:
“Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”
We’ve been through this before, but the key point is this: people don’t want exciting ‘health insurance products’, they want adequate care when they are sick. Also, how are we supposed to choose the ‘right’ healthcare? From the Mad Biologist’s archive:
I had a total of seven different health insurance plans to choose from, three of which were HMOs. The HMOs were the most interesting: the most expensive was $173/month (for an individual), and the least was $118/month. As far as I could tell based on the benefits package, the $118/month was the “you are legally required in Massachusetts to have health insurance, but if anything happens other than an annual checkup, you’re hosed” plan. But I could be wrong: maybe someone paying $173 per month is just wasting his or her money. Or maybe we’re both screwed if something bad happens.
The problem is that I have no way to evaluate how good any of these plans are at keeping me healthy, which is what I care about….
…none of us have any way to evaluate if the insurance we have picked will provide the healthcare we need if something disastrous (or even mildly annoying) strikes. I have no idea if something bad happens (and there are many kinds of ‘somethings bad’) whether my plan will provide the healthcare I need. Would I have access to the specialists I might require? Which treatments would be covered, and for how long?
Realistically, I can’t determine that. That’s not a choice, it’s Russian Roulette
And as one loyal reader noted, when a family member is sick, one is not a rational economic agent. On top of that, most of the big ticket healthcare items are not optional.