Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform’s director of state affairs, authored an op-ed in Forbes encouraging state legislators to push for greater health care price transparency.
A major barrier to reining in health care costs is the lack of pricing information. In a free market economy like the United States, price transparency is essential. Whether it is the supermarket, car dealer, maid service, or other business, prices are clearly advertised to consumers, which allows them to make the most rational and cost effective decisions. Such price transparency does not exist in the health care industry. This price opacity is one of the most significant obstacles to bringing down health care costs. However, while Congress is doing nothing to address this problem, solutions are coming from the state level.
Health care consumers with high deductible, low cost plans already have an incentive to pay close attention to the price they pay, since it comes out of their own pocket. However, patients who have first dollar, expensive insurance often have no idea what their insurer ended up paying for their treatment. Sometimes the insurer is even billed for services not received. This lack of price transparency costs health care consumers, insurers, and American taxpayers a lot of money.
Matthew Hurtt of United Liberty wrote an article regarding recent conservative support of justice reform, and cited a Huffington Post op-ed by Americans for Tax Reform president, Grover Norquist.
Grover Norquist, usually a champion against tax hikes, has strayed into the debate. Writing at the Huffington Post:
“Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, find some agreement that a problem exists when there are 4,000 federal laws that can land you in prison, more than two million Americans are in prison or jail and five million are under court supervision through parole or probation- and while America has five percent of the world’s population, we host 25 percent of the world’s prison inmates. And they can even agree on some of the solutions.”