The NYT has slowly begun to figure out that ACA doesn’t make health care affordable. A new piece in Grey Lady on Obamacare notes that sky high deductibles are making insurance unusable for exactly the people who need help the most. A taste:
“The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,” said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. “We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.
In many states, more than half the plans offered for sale through HealthCare.gov, the federal online marketplace, have a deductible of $3,000 or more, a New York Times review has found. Those deductibles are causing concern among Democrats — and some Republican detractors of the health law, who once pushed high-deductible health plans in the belief that consumers would be more cost-conscious if they had more of a financial stake or skin in the game.
“We could not afford the deductible,” said Kevin Fanning, 59, who lives in North Texas, near Wichita Falls. “Basically I was paying for insurance I could not afford to use.”
We’ve long noted that the health of the U.S. medical system in the age of the ACA cannot be evaluated by top-line numbers—like how many Americans are insured—alone. Rather, we must look at how well insurance is actually serving Americans in their day-to-day interaction with the health care system.
Every indication so far is that, for far too many Americans, health care is unaffordable, ACA subsidies or not.