The Case For Transparent Pricing

The Case For Transparent Pricing

Here’s a question for you. A question I was recently asked by a United States Congressman.

“Should we forego the opportunity to price 95% of healthcare services when 5% of them cannot be priced ahead of time and up front?”

Of course the Congressman did not ask me that question in that way. As a naysayer and a defender of the price-gougers, he was attempting to characterize the free market healthcare movement as illegitimate because the situation that he described could not be priced ahead of time.

I would argue – and I think I would make a compelling case – the vast majority of healthcare experiences that patients endure can be priced up front and the prices can be known ahead of time. Not all of them; but the vast majority.

But if 90% or 95% can be priced, should we forego the opportunity to price those services knowing that the rest cannot?

Uncertainty is the reason for insurance and of course, traditionally, that is why we’ve had insurance. But that is not how healthcare insurance works now. It’s basically prepayment for healthcare services.

But uncertainty is the reason we have insurance. And I would argue that if anyone ever attempts to delegitimize or characterize the free market movement as illegitimate by producing some imaginary situation where the price cannot be known up front… the way to respond to that is to simply ask the question: “Should we forego the opportunity to price the vast majority of healthcare situations, the price for which can be known and displayed up front?”

Thank you for joining me. We will see you next time.