Long Overdue: Transparency About Health Care Prices

Health care price transparency is suddenly a hot issue. We’d like to think we perhaps had something to do with that, though it’s doubtful anyone sitting close to the levers of power takes time out of her busy day to cozy up to a trade publication. But ya never know!

Kevin D. Williamson at the conservative National Review comes out foursquare in support of the recent Trump administration initiative to find out just what the heck things cost in health care. That’s saying something because Williamson has been one of those voices on the right who has been critical of President Trump from the beginning, and hasn’t eased up much since. (Full disclosure: Williamson edited a newspaper column I wrote for a number of years. We’re friendly acquaintances.)

“Republicans blew the health-care debate in 2009 with their mulish need to defend the status quo of what they insisted was ‘the greatest health-care system in the world’, never bothering to ask why so many people were so unhappy with such a superlative system,” Williamson writes. “The answer, which is for obvious reasons less obvious to people with lots of money and good insurance, is: insecurity. Many people walk into doctors’ offices not knowing whether their insurance will cover the service they need, how much they’ll have to pay out of pocket, whether they’ll still have insurance in a week and whether it will offer the same benefits, etc.”