(Image: a.drian under CC 3.0)
Unfortunately, health insurance reform does relatively little to reduce the use of often medically unnecessary and less effective–yet expensive–medical care, such as tests. Overuse may make up 10-30% of health care spending in the United States. When some people try to reduce it, they are often accused of rationing.
However, the legislation will eventually do something: starting in 2018, there will be a tax on high-cost health insurance plans. These plans are accused of encouraging consumers to utilize expensive care, especially when they are provided by employers. By transferring more of the cost to patients through higher co-payments and deductibles, they may think twice before demanding a MRI they may not need.
In order to lower their premiums, health insurers may also decide to exclude unnecessary procedures from some of their coverage options. This may make them more competitive in the soon-to-be-launched exchange markets.