Let's make this very simple: Say that I can spend $250 per month on a health insurance plan or $350 to get the exact same plan with prescription-drug coverage.
What's the better deal?
Generally speaking, the right says that's a question for each consumer to decide for himself or herself. And the left says that prescription-drug coverage is just one of the things that all health-insurance plans ought to cover. In their telling, individuals may think they're better off buying cheaper insurance that doesn't cover prescription drugs, but if they get sick they'll realize how wrong they were.
This is unpersuasive to me.
Sure, all else being equal, having prescription-drug coverage* is better than none. But all else is not equal. Even if, for the sake of simplicity, we strip away every good one might purchase with $100, and assume that the proper way to spend that money is on health improvement, it isn't clear that drug coverage is the right purchase.
For some people, it certainly would be**. And I favor a society where everyone who needs prescription drugs can get them. But let's think of a person who, for example, has an hour-long commute each day on a route where a greater-than-average number of traffic accidents occur. Perhaps such a person would be better off spending that $100 a month on a pricier car with exceptional safety features. They may think their current car is adequate; but they might well change their minds if they got in an accident and didn't have any side-impact airbag. Why are things arranged so that they must insure against the possibility of a pricey prescription rather than against the possibility of a serious car accident?