In the recent article by Robert Pear in the NY Times, consumers are learning that their deductibles will be higher in the Affordable Care Act (italics added by this author). This act would be more appropriately named the Accessible Care Act because for most, it will make health insurance more accessible but not more affordable.
That being said, I think the Act does something very important. By shifting more costs to the consumer with higher deductibles, it will force consumers to be more discerning in what they spend on healthcare. They won’t ask for unnecessary tests or X-rays, they won’t be so quick to go to the ER for the common cold or a routine headache.
By linking healthcare more directly to the consumer’s wallet, they’ll understand and appreciate the costs of good, quality care. That appreciation and responsibility is lost when the cost of care is too disconnected with all-access coverage from the insurance policies of the past.