Many Americans avoiding health care treatments because of cost. From Gallup:

Percentage of Americans Putting Off Medical Treatment Because of Cost, 2001-2013

I consider this a huge problem but some health care policy experts, including those closely allied to President Obama, indirectly think this is a good idea. This is what happens when your cost control strategies are all about “consumer choice” instead of stopping the industry from ripping people off.

When you encourage greater “skin-in-the-game” with higher co-pays and deductibles this is naturally what happens. Some people might avoid needless treatments but you are also going to have many people suffer needlessly or allow problems to get much worse because the cost of care is stopping them from getting treatment.

The Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act will help many by offering them good coverage but other parts of the law could make this problem worse for others. Most of the coverage sold on the exchanges will have extremely high cost sharing, and once the ‘Cadillac tax’ kicks in starting in 2018 it will push employers to stop providing their employees with plans that have low deductibles.

This trend is the future of American health care, not the past.