So, I want to caveat this post by saying this isn’t supposed to be any sort of argument for more vigorous intervention in health care. Beyond my general instinctive “gummint bad” caveman grunt, I have no very well thought out views on healthcare policy. (Funny how that works, isn’t it? Five years ago, I felt competent to speak confidently on almost any sphere of policy… At this rate I’ll soon be reduced to discussing things I actually know about.) But I found this report in Politico on a McCain press call puzzling, because even I knew the answer to this question:
[McCain surrogate Doug Holtz-Eakin] also argued that young people wouldn’t opt out of employer-sponsored care — which Obama’s camp says would trigger a collapse of part of that system — because they’d be losing a subsidy from their employer and wind up simply with lower-quality care.
“Why would they trade $4,000 worth of coverage for $2,500?” he asked.
OK, well, here’s why I would do it. I don’t know how common this setup is, but the way my insurance works is that I get a pick of various health plans with various degrees of out-of-system and deductible levels, each requiring me to kick in some percentage of my salary. If I and only if can prove I have some alternate coverage (because my employer has decided they don’t want their folks going around uninsured) I can opt out of the system and get a moderate boost in my paycheck.
Now, I don’t do this because even if I felt like shopping around for insurance plans—which I don’t, and haven’t—I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t find anything as good on my own as Conde Nast’s baseline group plan plan for the amount I’d get by opting out. But if I could reclaim my insurance contribution and get the government to foot the bill for coverage, even if it were a more modest plan? Being relatively young, I’d certainly consider it.