Sunday, November 18, 2012

Informed Consumers and Lower Health Care Costs

 Recently Paul Krugman touted drug costs under Medicaid as a big win as compared to the hobbled  Medicare Part D which is run by private insurors.
"Last year a government study compared the prices that Medicaid paid for brand-name drugs with those paid by Medicare Part D — also a government program, but one run through private insurance companies, and explicitly forbidden from using its power in the market to bargain for lower prices. The conclusion: Medicaid pays almost a third less on average."

One thing missing in the medical market is the price tag.  We see direct pricing on everything we need: housing, food, automobiles.  Everyone manages to select from cable TV, satellite service and phone company options by listed prices on their entertainment channels and options.  Yet few people are engaged in comparing prices when it comes to something as important as medical care.  Why is this?

Reason TV brings us a view on what can happen to costs when the consumer gets pricing ahead of time, even if insurance is not involved.

Free market supporters obviously point to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma and Medibid as a direction to investigate.  Paul Krugman favors more control from above and less personal involvement.  It is for your own good after all...

Annie Wilkes administers Dr. Krugman's prescription for fair prices

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