A decade after Obamacare, health care costs continue to explode. The system is arguably more dysfunctional than it was before, tens of millions of Americans lack access to care providers, and even those who can afford insurance are still facing huge bills. But despite the system’s complexity, there are a number of fairly simple solutions that would dramatically lower prices for patients.
The Cost of Health Care identifies two critical problems driving up costs, a lack of price transparency and the bureaucratic middlemen getting between patients and their doctors. Fortunately, there is a path for policymakers to reform our system to ensure patients are in charge of their care by knowing prices before services are provided and creating more options that bring patients and doctors together.
- U.S. health care spending in 2019 grew to over $3.8 trillion or more than $11,000 per person. Roughly 3 in 10 Americans have delayed or forgone seeking medical treatment due to costs.
- A lack of price transparency means providers can hide fees, add costs, or charge different prices for the same services.
- Bureaucratic middlemen use kickbacks (“rebates”) and market control to raise prices and pass them on to patients.
- In January, the Trump Administration initiated rules to require certain providers to make their prices transparent so patients would know what procedures and treatments cost before they are performed. TPPF has published a Price Transparency Index to track which states are in compliance.