Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation makes an exceptionally astute point:
But it’s the candidates who can connect their plans and messages to voters’ worries about out of pocket costs who will reach beyond the activists in their base. And the candidates aren’t speaking to that much, at least so far.
There are several different prices in health care. Some are real and relevant to almost everyone and others are seemingly esoteric that excite only nerds and green eye shaders.
Most people care about their premiums. This is the money going out the door every month.
Most people care about their out of pocket maximums. This is the money that leaves their wallet when they need care.
Most people don’t care at all about total cost of care or the incentives of fee for service or bundled payments. Most people don’t care that the Out of Network surprise bill limitation laws have the potential to jack up premiums. Those costs are either diffused through the entire population in the form of incrementally higher premiums or they are hidden by tax subsidies, tax advantages, payroll deductions and tighter networks.
Limiting out of pocket costs that are experienced by most people is good politics.