If you want to find criticism of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, just log onto any American news website and look at the front page. If you want to find criticism about the way health insurance fundamentally works, just listen to Virginia attorney general and republican gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli, who claims it was never intended to cover routine doctors visits.
In a joint presentation with democratic state delegate Patrick Hope in which the two politicians offered their opposing views on the ACA’s impact in Virginia, Cuccinelli argued that health insurance was initially intended only for major medical expenditures and catastrophic incidents. He supported his claim that if car insurance doesn’t cover oil changes, medical insurance shouldn’t cover check-ups, according to Ashburn Patch.
However, this logic isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ken.) is a physician, and the Tea Party icon claims that more capitalism should be applied health care to lower prices in a free market manner.
“Capitalism has not been tried yet in health care,” said Sen. Paul on a September 2012 episode of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Most of health care is government-fixed prices and there’s very little capitalism. In fact, I’m a physician. In my practice, about 3% of my practice was capitalism. Those are people who came in with high deductibles or paid cash. That marketplace worked because we did bid down prices on things that people came in and paid for.”
With apologies to the senator, this plan might not work as well as Paul thinks it could. ThinkProgress countered:
“Proponents of high-deductible health plans claim that they curb health care costs by providing consumers a market incentive to lead healthier lifestyles. But this “market-based” approach involves massive cost-shifting from hospitals and providers onto consumers, forcing sick Americans to choose between exorbitant out-of-pocket costs and forgoing treatment. Such plans also disproportionately affect those who require ongoing care or have chronic illnesses”