Table: Keeping Provider Costs in Line
Sic the feds and states on hospitals and other providers, which are using their growing market power to ratchet up prices. Officials could apply long-established antitrust principles that measure excessive concentration in local markets.
Consumers usually have no way to tell what hospitals and doctors charge for their services. These prices should be made public, allowing consumers to make choices about health-care purchases just as they do for any other service.
Insurers and employers should offer health plans that give consumers the ability to shop around among individual hospitals and doctors. That would help to introduce true market conditions to the industry.