Ezra Klein writes,

if consumers, as they’ve repeatedly proven, don’t want insurance, but instead want insulation, why shouldn’t we seek to make that work (as it does in a variety of other countries and systems).

Consumers do love to be insulated from health care spending. However, American consumers also love to have access to whatever health care services American doctors think are appropriate, which is something they would lose under another country’s government-run health care system. Finally, Americans don’t like the financial consequences of insulation, which show up in the form of lower paychecks, higher taxes, and lack of affordability of individual health insurance.

The point is that you cannot give American consumers everything they want when it comes to health care. However, if government were to back off, and give assistance only to the really poor and the really sick, my prediction is that many consumers would shed their insulation and replace it with real insurance. See the book.

Thanks to James Joyner for the pointer.