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Logical Solutions to Health Care Costs

By: Ryan Hildebrand - Jul 17, 2013, 2:17 pm

It really is not up for debate that health care costs in the United States are skyrocketing. I propose it is mainly due to jury-rigging through central planning in order to make the market “more fair.” Unfortunately, central planning cannot predict well (if at all) what the market demand will be for any particular product or service, health care included.

The ad hoc Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare,” has already led to increased insurance rates in some areas, even before implementation. With so many arbitrary positive rights involved, tens of thousands of pages of law passed (by people who do not even understand the law nor wish to follow it), and a whole new apparatus for penalties via the Internal Revenue Service, it is absolutely no surprise that costs would increase.

There are some cost-saving ideas, such as medical tourism, insurance portability, and private exchanges, which make market sense and have been bounced around for years, even before passage of Obamacare. However, an Oklahoma hospital presents a great example of how to completely work around government regulations by not playing by the fed’s rules to begin with.

The solution, as often is the case, is both profound and simple: the Surgery Center of Oklahoma posts the prices for its procedures online for the world to see — prices, I might add, that are a fraction of what most places with similar procedures charge. A move like this can ignite a price war, thus deflating cost.

The conflict with federal programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, is that they do not allow for transparency on costs to the patient. Basically, the patient must wait until a product or service has been delivered to know the cost. It is astounding that such a stipulation even exists for one of the most vital of services.

To get around the requirement, the Surgery Center of Oklahoma does not participate in government-sponsored health care services. Prices are so low that not even private insurance need be utilized at this hospital! It is truly astounding how well the free market can succeed when the chains of central planning and the tyranny of bureaucracy are circumvented.

One can easily see that there are many ways to reduce health care costs, even without taking into account such preventive measures like nutrition and exercise (though those should not be cast aside, either). All one need do is remove the cabal of corporatist elements inherent in the current system that prevent this from occurring.

Ryan Hildebrand Ryan Hildebrand

Dr. Ryan Hildebrand is a college instructor in New Orleans, Louisiana, and co-host of The Neo and Wim Show. You can follow his personal blog, NOLA City Blues, and his Twitter @NOLACityBlues. Read more of his featured PanAm Post column, "Self-Ownership."