As Obamacare was being debated in Congress in 2009, Peter Orzag, the Obama administration’s first Office of Management and Budget director, famously claimed that the new entitlement would “bend the cost curve.” Five years later, it’s clear that Obamacare has not and will not bring down health care costs. The Rand Corporation predicts that Americans who buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges will pay nearly $2,000 more annually by 2016 than they otherwise would’ve.
A major barrier to reining in health care costs is the lack of pricing information. In a free market economy like the United States, price transparency is essential. Whether it is the supermarket, car dealer, maid service, or other business, prices are clearly advertised to consumers, which allows them to make the most rational and cost effective decisions.
Andy Carter, president and CEO of The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, takes over our health care blog this week.