Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Stupidity of Health Savings Accounts

Fellow Oregon blogger The Big Forehead with a very good short discussion of why the health savings accounts that Republicans support are a bad idea.
Consuming healthcare ain't buying Coca Cola; it's not choosing between buying a Kia instead of a Mercedes. Nobody wants to approach an insurance company with an expensive, pre-existing condition. You can't, as a consumer, opt for operable versus non-operable cancer. I've never met anyone who woke up in the morning and decided to break their leg. I'm guessing the premiums will be hard enough for most folks on the bottom rung and the idea that they're going to sock even more cash into their HSA would be funny if it weren't so insulting.

Basically, healthcare isn't a normal market. That entire argument is maddeningly silly and dishonest. This is about getting employers out of the insurance game. If you think that's a swell idea, great. That's your perogative. But do yourself a favor and excise the "smart consumers" meme from your talking points.

One minor quibble I have here, employers should be taken out of the insurance game, it would be better for everybody if employers were taken out of the insurance game by instituting a single payer plan in which everyone is guaranteed health care insured by the United States Government. But the argument about health care not being a normal market in which one can choose which products they are going to buy is made very effectively. PS: Emphasis mine on the quote

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