Chu pointed out that banks will simply compensate for credit card restrictions in other ways, like eliminating free checking accounts and bundling other services to boost profitability. Jim Brush, an owner of Key West Key Lime Pie, in Big Pine Key, Fla., summed up the consumers’ dilemma: the government, he said, “put these restrictions in place to try to protect consumers, as we’ve seen, the banks and credit card companies have always found ways around them.”

A small business owner who needs help buying health insurance might feel exactly the same way.

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.