While HMO plans are a choice people should be able to make, you should look into actual high deductible insurance. Our family of 6 pays $500/mo with a $5500/yr deductible. We pay "out of pocket" by depositing the money into a Health Savings Account (HSA) first, and paying from that. This deducts the expense on the same line as IRA contributions. Fully funding the HSA for the deductible, plus the premiums, is about the cost of HMO coverage with the same exclusions and tax benefits. BUT, if we don't spend the entire deductible from the HSA, the balance stays in the account which can be used for non-covered expenses (e.g. our plan doesn't cover dental) or saved for retirement (it can be used like an IRA after retirement age). Notice that if you hit the deductible (which our daughter did last year by breaking two fingers), your total premium plus "out of pocket" expense is about the same as HMO premiums.
One nasty aspect of the current Obamacare bill is phasing out HSA accounts by 2015 ("forcing" people to buy HMO coverage similarly to how people are "forced" to use public schools because of the tax induced expense of private school).