Its been more than 20 years since Hillary Clinton undertook a failing effort to reform the entire healthcare system. Now she comes forward with more modest ideas: additional free doctor visits and a tax credit for families with high out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Yet these proposals have the same problem that permeated the global reform she proposed years ago. They ignore basic economic incentives.
Lets start with something Secretary Clinton gets right. Millions of people buying health insurance on the (Obamacare) exchanges are facing deductibles that are inappropriategiven their income and their assets. These deductibles tend to be two or three times as high as what is normal in a typical employer plan.
A review by the New York Times has found that in many states, more than half the plans offered for sale have a deductible of $3,000 or more. As Robert Pear reports:
In Miami, the median deductible, according to HealthCare.gov, is $5,000. (Half of the plans are above the median, and half below it.) In Jackson, Miss., the comparable figure is $5,500. In Chicago, the median deductible is $3,400. In Phoenix, it is $4,000; in Houston and Des Moines, $3,000.