Living in a state with incredibly high medical costs (Massachusetts), having worked in several healthcare businesses (including a Medicaid health plan), I'm always reading and thinking about our "healthcare bubble", and trying to understand what the problems actually are, and what a long-term solution would look like (hint: nothing Congress will come up with).
This article about hearing aids caught my eye. It's mostly about how to choose them, etc., but it starts by pointing out that they are expensive ($2000 - $5000), and people are surprised that insurance doesn't pay for them.
If I needed a hearing aid, I'd prefer that someone else pay for it too. Heck, if I had a roof leak or my refrigerator stopped working, I'd prefer that someone else pay for those. For these examples I tried to pick "things that have gone wrong that really need to be fixed", and in two areas that for most of us affect our daily life much more the healthcare does: food and housing.
It's not like there's some moral hazard involved in having insurance pay for hearing aids. It's unlikely that anyone would be more likely to expose themselves to situations involving hearing loss because they know that somewhere down the line they'll be able to get a cheap hearing aid--though moral hazard and risk homeostasis can be slippery things, and are certainly not well understood yet.
It's just that I think that there are medical expenses, with real quality of life consequences, that we should pay for ourselves, unless we are genuinely financially unable to do it.
We don't want to hear that. I don't want to hear it. I'm forced to pay a lot for health insurance (many months it is my fourth largest expense, after food, mortgage, and taxes). Once I've done that, I want it to pay for medical products and services that I need. If my doctor will lobby for me to get it covered, I'll be fine with that.
Then I'll be irritated that my health insurance consumes an even greater part of my income.