Congratulations are due to the many people who ushered through the agreement that is now effective between the self-funded health plan of the State of Oklahoma and facilities like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma that have embraced price honesty.
Patients that come here who are State employees do not have to reach into their wallet and pay anything. The self-funded health plan of the State of Oklahoma pays the entire bill.
That’s the arrangement that we have with many self-funded companies all over the United States. The self-funded health plans of the state governments are the largest self-funded health plans in the country. And other states are going to take notice because the anticipated savings, many industry insiders have told me, could well be north of $200 million in the first year.
This is very exciting. This is a state solution and taken from the private sector to the out of control charges in health care in the United States. We are very excited to be a part of this. We believe that this will create a very strong downward price inflation on health care in the United States.
This is an example, perhaps, of what should be done. And this is an example to the folks in Washington D.C. to keep their nose out of what the private sector can provide.
We are very excited, once again. And congratulations are due. They are also due to the legislators who decided to do the right thing. The right thing was not to mandate price transparency as many other states have done. I’ve said many times that mandating price transparency will simply afford the legislators opportunities to sell exemptions or to redefine transparency altogether.
Oklahoma did not do that. Oklahoma, rather, used their muscle of their own self-funded health plan to empower the free market in health care. Congratulations are due. And I must also mention my friends at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Michael Carnuccio, Jonathan Small and Brandon Dutcher. Thank you, all, for your fearless courage and leadership. Congratulations.
We’ll see you next time.