Evening Must-Read: Norm Ornstein on Republican Hatred of the Heritage Model/RomneyCare...
On the Possibility and Implications of an Economy Burdened by a Long-Lasting Negative Natural Nominal Rate of Interest, and Other Topics: Tuesday Focus

Yet More Evidence That It Is Going to Be Very Difficult Indeed to Figure Out How to Hold a Dialogue with These People...

Jonathan Chait: Today in Hackery: Douglas Holtz-Eakin's American Action Forum Edition:

Last year the American Action Forum... decr[ied] Obamacare for discouraging high-deductible health insurance plans. High-deductible plans, wrote the AAF, are wonderful in every way. They

make a lot of sense for many health care consumers and they make a lot of sense for the healthcare system, as they encourage the use of lower cost care settings, more transparent pricing from providers, and serve as an affordable insurance product that still protects against catastrophic expenses.

Sadly, the post predicted, they would likely disappear under the boot of Obamacare, and then we will all be sorry:

It will shock no one when aggregate healthcare spending increases as a result of HDHP’s going nearly, if not entirely, extinct.

But it turns out that high-deductible insurance has not disappeared under Obamacare. The law actually gives insurers a lot of flexibility, and most of them have determined that consumers would rather have low insurance premiums and high deductibles. So the flip side of the much lower-than-expected premiums available in the Obamacare exchanges is that the plans often charge high deductibles. But since this is exactly what conservatives have always wanted, they should be happy!

Yet somehow the AAF is not cheering.... Today the American Action Forum explains that the availability of high-deductible plans under Obamacare is more evidence of how terrible the law is:

Under the ACA, however, enrollees will pay exponentially more for their coverage, only to receive plans carrying unaffordable deductibles.  Significantly increased out-of-pocket costs, combined with hospitals’ fears over uncompensated services, will force some to finance the costs of their care, a financially risky choice.

Having a reasonably coherent view of policy questions seems like an important part of the job of being a think tank.