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.
While I am an unapologetic advocate of free markets and know, truly know, that the mutually beneficial exchange of unfettered competition is the only moral and utilitarian method for humans to trade, I must admit that I was in awe watching this process unfold at our inaugural Free Market Medical Association (FMMA) conference. It was one thing to hope that the various buyers and sellers would find one another. It was quite another thing to witness the speed with which the parties found each other and also how rapidly and naturally actual solutions emerged after these introductions were made.
My friend, Dr. Lee Gross, told the audience that rather than finding himself in a group of malcontents, he was amidst problem solvers. This, I think, is why the energy was palpable at every moment in our two-day event. “Who knows what will come of this next?!” I found myself saying this repeatedly. Jay Kempton, Charles Sauer and I watched as physicians and pharmacy vendors brought market solutions to light, ideas quickly seized upon by benefit plan designers and administrators. Various legal fears and questions were dismissed or dealt with by the legal experts in the room within seconds of these issues being raised. Every sector of the health industry present was indispensable in order for these solutions to unfold. I would characterize these proceedings as random but well ordered at the same time. Everyone present was witness, I believe, to a very raw yet beautifully ordered market process.
These were the conversations and introductions the cartel keepers never wanted to happen.