Plus, the anti-vaxxers tend to be anti-mask

At least the people who will die will likely skew Republican. I have no desire to see anyone die but if you die of Covid today, the chances are that you should receive a Darwin Award, i.e., chances are that your poor decisions are largely responsible.

The problem with deductibles

From the NYT: “The Affordable Care Act was supposed to improve access to health insurance, and it did. It reduced the number of Americans who were uninsured through the Medicaid expansion and the creation of the health insurance marketplaces. Unfortunately, it has not done enough to protect people from rising out-of-pocket expenses in the form of deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance.

“Out-of-pocket expenses exist for a reason; people are less likely to spend their own money than an insurance company’s money, and these expenses are supposed to make patients stop and think before they get needless care. But this moral-hazard argument assumes that patients are rational consumers, and it assumes that cost-sharing in the form of deductibles and co-pays makes them better shoppers. Research shows this is not the case. Instead, extra costs result in patients not seeking any care, even if they need it.

“Cost-sharing isn’t set up in a thoughtful way such that it might steer people away from inefficient care toward efficient care. Deductibles are, frankly, ridiculous. The use of deductibles assumes that all medical spending is the same and that the system should disincentivize all of it, starting over each Jan. 1. There is no valid argument for why that should be. Flu season peaks in the winter. We were in an Omicron surge at the beginning of this year. Making that the time when people are most discouraged from getting care doesn’t make sense.

“Co-pays and co-insurance aren’t much better. They treat all patients the same, and they assume that all patients should be treated the same way. …

“The purpose of insurance is to protect people from financial ruin if they face unexpected medical expenses. Reducing the amount that they need to pay from six figures to five is necessary, but not sufficient. It’s not enough to give people insurance. That insurance must also be comprehensive.”

The case for Bidencare

Paul Krugman in the NYT: “But while Biden is indeed proposing incremental change rather than Medicare for All, we’re talking about some big increments. Independent estimates suggest that under Biden’s plan, 15 million to 20 million Americans would gain health insurance. And premiums would fall sharply, especially for middle-class families. …

“None of this [Biden’s proposals] amounts to revolutionary change — in contrast to Trump’s efforts to kill Obamacare, which would drastically change American health care, for the worse. But Bidencare would still be, as Biden didn’t quite say when President Barack Obama signed the A.C.A. into law, a pretty big deal.

“True, America would still fall somewhat short of achieving what every other advanced country has — universal health care. But we’d get a lot closer, and many who currently have insurance coverage would see their costs fall and the quality of coverage improve.”