Ezra responds to Bob Herbert's column by stating that cost controls are neccesary and the only way to gain those controls is through a punitive tax hike on the middle class. Color me unimpressed.
Cost control is obviously important but, as one of Ezra's commenters notes, costs are not driven by the consumer. No one signs up for an extra MRI or CT scan just because they have insurance. Sure they may see their general practitioner once more than they otherwise would because the copay is low but that's not a high cost item in the grand scheme of American healthcare. What drives cost is the fee for service model which encourages doctors to order more tests on the latest equipment. Ezra's approach to cost control is to punish middle class workers in order to save the medical professionals from themselves. It's maddening that he somehow views this as a perfectly legitimate means to achieve his desired ends.
In this debate I have, at times, found Ezra to be technocratic to a fault - this is one of those times.