Hello. Dr. Keith Smith with you. Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Thank you for joining me.

There’s a lot of talk in the news these days about government coverage and expanding it in this industry. Whether it’s Medicare for all or Medicaid expansion, these are all hot topics.

Dr. Avik Roy has very insightfully stated that it’s a good idea to spend a lot of money on medical services for the poor, and I agree with him. He says, though, to do so recklessly and wastefully is inexcusable, and I agree with him there too.

To concentrate on coverage and not deal with the primary issue, price, is reckless and wasteful, I believe. To just increase the span of coverage merely serves to line the pockets of industry insiders. It leaves the rest of us gasping for air, trying to figure out how are we going to pay these inflated medical bills. My buddy and partner, Steve Lantier, has said: “at current medical pricing, we are all poor.” The first thing to do with a large problem is to make it a small problem, then it’s much easier to solve. I believe the market can do this. The market does this through competition. It lowers prices and simultaneously boosts quality. When the government gets involved, the only way to lower prices is through price controls, and that causes shortages, basically rationing of care. Let’s see what the market can do, and I would encourage you some of these thoughts in mind as you hear the debate over increasing governments role in coverage in this industry.

Thank you for joining me. We’ll see you next time.