When it comes to do without reimbursement of drugs that help against minor complaints the Swiss population even seem to exhibit a small positive WTP for such a restriction. This can be interpreted as an instance of 'warm glow', i.e. the tendency of (at least some) respondents to choose alternatives they believe to be socially acclaimed (Andreoni, 1995).
This is what is wrong with economists. They've done an experiment with people, asking them what sort of health care system they want. The economists assume the only thing that matters to the participants is what they get out of it. So they ask these people how much less they would need to pay in order to accept only getting their insurance to pay for drugs treating serious ailments. When people say they would actually be willing to pay more for a health system where only drugs treating serious ailments, they attribute this to a 'warm glow' which is just people wanting to feel good about themselves.
Isn't it possible, that people want a good health care system, and not simply the system that most benefits them personally? It's not a particularly new or original idea. But the researchers seem a little confused by it. They are later reassured when they discover that it's only healthy people who feel that way. Sick people start to become more self-interested. So homo economicus is more like the sick person unable to afford to keep themselves alive, hoping that the people living around them will pay for them.
I read a bit more of that paper and they're arguing that you shouldn't regulate health insurance because everyone wants something different, and if you restrict everyone in the same way you get a bad outcome. One of their examples of this is that people who are sick or have been recently put more value on unrestricted choice than others. This isn't particularly remarkable, because these people are probably using far more health services than the average person. So they'll probably be more upset if you restrict what they use. That definitely isn't an argument against regulation. Regulation might be a bad idea if some people are willing to pay much more for some aspect of health care than other people are. But the sickest people are willing to pay slightly more in return for much better health care, much of the cost of which is borne by other people. I'm not suggesting that society shouldn't pay for sick people, just that differences in preferences between high users of health care and low users isn't sufficient to make regulation inefficient.
Silly neoliberal economists. They're just setting out to find evidence for their existing agenda. Like all economists of course, but it's worse when the neoliberal ones do it because they have the wrong existing agenda.