Yet there are still many among us who refuse to believe that price honesty in an open market can “bend the healthcare cost curve” – let alone that it is essential for affordable healthcare. Not only does it work, but is less expensive for participants and also begets higher quality, being intrinsic to the proposition of a mutually beneficial exchange of value between buyers and sellers.
Health “insurance” is NOT…INSURANCE. When everyone’s house is on fire at the same time we’re not talking about managing risk, we’re talking about a perpetually increasing spend.
Please listen to this insightful explanation by David Goldhill where he discusses this phenomenon and explains why Healthcare is not the economic Island that we made it out to be. Instead, much of what we believe and what we’ve done to healthcare, as far as economics and regulations, has made it an island unto itself. This is a huge part of the problem and one that has largely been self inflicted.
This piece by Megan McArdle is one of the best treatises I’ve read on the economic conundrums facing healthcare and the philosophical wars that rage on around it. Despite the altruistic disguises that insulate much of centrally controlled healthcare systems financed by other people’s money, the price tag is still a consideration; not to mention freedom of choice is largely absent in those top-down budgeted systems.
“The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.” That comes from the Twitter feed of personal finance writer Helaine Olen. But it could have issued straight from the heart of any progressive in the land. Subjecting health care to the sordid whims of the marketplace strikes many people as simply immoral.
AUGUST 23, 2016 – “The health of Americans should not be a profit center. Health care is a right. Full stop.”
That comes from the Twitter feed of personal finance writer Helaine Olen. But it could have issued straight from the heart of any progressive in the land. Subjecting health care to the sordid whims of the marketplace strikes many people as simply immoral. Nor is this feeling confined to the left. Conservatives may be less enthusiastic about socialized medicine, but talk to one about the health care system…
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What does the price of gasoline and the price of a chest x-ray have in common? Not much really, except the price of both have gone up in the Atlanta area recently; but the former did so for expected reasons that are predicated on behavioral economics and the relationship of demand to price. The latter went up, well, because it could.
But the sticker shock that I’ve experience lately trying to find a price on a simple chest X-ray is not due to any shortages (either perceived or real) or any sudden increase in demand. Nor was it from a sudden increase in the cost of performing an X-ray or some phenomenal increase in quality that created a better image or less radiation exposure. Nope, none of the usual factors that go into predicting price behavior were at play.
THE WEDGE PRINCIPLES
- Transparent, Affordable Pricing
- Freedom to Choose
- True Patient Privacy
- No Government Reporting
- No Outside Interference
- Cash-Based Pricing
- Protected Patient-Doctor Relationship
- All Patients Welcome
One of my kids needed to have their adenoids removed. Before, we would have blithely gotten the procedure done oblivious to the costs. Instead, I tried mightily to get a price ahead of time so I could negotiate a cash price. Only the surgeon was willing to give me a price for his services. I paid him out of my HSA prior to the surgery and we both came out ahead. Unfortunately, the hospital was unwilling to give me this information. The final bill was close to $10,000. In contrast, the surgery centers such as the one outlined below would have charged $2,695 for the entire procedure.