It's more of a cost shifting mechanism, writes The American Thinker, and rightly so:
It is no more practical to have "health insurance" to pay for prescription drugs and routine doctor visits than it is to expect your auto insurance to pay for your oil changes and tire rotations.
I tend to agree that the larger issue is the creeping of the entitlement culture, and tonight's comments from Obama only confirmed that, and the role of Obamacare (C)(TM) in worsening the problem:
"I'm rushed because I get letters every day from families that are being clobbered by health care costs, and they ask me can you help," he said.
If you think that's what insurance is, the government moving money from one pocket to another to make things more affordable, you're going to have a tough time when your car gets rear-ended. That's why the car insurance analogy is so fitting - we've come to expect that the routine be subsidized, insured and cost-mitigated, as if its not that - routine, and so expected that we could easily budget for it ourselves and pay less than the health insurance premium. In fact, that most people with employee sponsored coverage can afford their employee health insurance premium seems strong evidence that they could afford the routine medical costs themselves. What they couldn't cover, and what insurance was supposed to alleviate, was unexpected health care costs and incidents.
The problem here is that when people say "insurance," they mean "I want something for nothing (or substantially less)." Routine, maintenance healthcare is not cheap, but simply bundling the costs does not eliminate the fact that somebody has to pay them. By creating a system where payment at the point of the transaction is lessened (or removed, in a socialized system), the illusion of zero cost allows the average person to ignore the increased taxes, and inevitable burden on businesses and "wealthy individuals," required to pay the costs. Hiding them doesn't fix the problem, but it does make people feel better.