More Evidence That Health Insurance Drives Up the Cost of Care
Posted on October 7, 2014
This table is further evidence that using health insurance paid for by employers to insulate patients from the cost of their health care is actually causing health care costs to go up. This year, Senator Nancy Barto sponsored a bill to require hospitals and doctors in Arizona to make cash prices available to patients, a reform the Goldwater Institute has been advocating for three years. This isn’t the sort of regulation we normally champion, but because there is no true market in health care forcing a little transparency would ultimately benefit consumers by lowering prices.
Unfortunately, after making it through the Arizona Senate, the bill was stymied in the House Judiciary committee due to opposition from insurance companies, hospitals, and doctor organizations. One has to wonder why hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies wouldn’t want patients to know the cash price of a medical procedure.
The Obama administration is right about one thing when it comes to health care: we are all likely to be patients. If the federal health reform law is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court there will be a window of opportunity to advance policies that will actually lower health care costs, like having honest cash prices available to patients.
Los Angeles Times: Many hospitals, doctors offer cash discount for medical bills
Arizona State Legislature: Senate Bill 1384
Arizona State Legislature: House Judiciary Committee Hearing, March 13, 2012