With Ryan’s Republicans introducing an Obamacare
Repeal and Replace Retool and Rename bill, it’s useful to remember what Republicans have forgotten: The free market works when you let it work.
Art Villa found out, after one too many boating accidents, that he needed a total knee replacement, he began asking around to see how much it would cost. The hospital near his home in Helena, Mont., would charge $40,000 for the procedure, he says. But that didn’t include the anesthesiologist’s fee, physical therapy or a stay at a rehabilitation center afterward. A 2015 Blue Cross Blue Shield study found that one hospital in Dallas billed $16,772 for a knee replacement while another in the same area charged $61,585.
It was in the midst of this confounding research that Villa, who’s 68, heard about the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, whose business model is different from that of most hospitals. There, the all-inclusive price for every operation is listed on the website.
The Surgery Center would charge $19,000 for his whole-knee replacement, a discount of nearly 50% on what Villa expected to be charged at his local hospital [Actually, that’s more than 50%. 19K is less than half of 40K – V]. And that price would include everything from airfare to the organization’s only facility, in Oklahoma City, to medications and physical therapy.
Isn’t it amazing. When you cut out the layers and layers of bureaucracy (either at private insurance companies or in the Government), the cost of medical procedures drops by over fifty percent.
I could never get my head around the idea of why so many people think it’s morally wrong to expect people to be responsible for their own health care.