A market solution to health care pricing

There are no silver bullets for fixing health care, but few things come as close to the mark as price transparency.

A great health market failure is a lack of clear pricing that patients can use to compare providers. The tax code’s unequal treatment of health spending doesn’t help. But so many ills flow from our byzantine pricing method: fee schedules under which doctors charge different prices to different patients, flat co-pays that discourage rational decision-making.

Big companies buy most of the private health insurance in this country. But, unlike with most other purchases they make, they don’t really know whether they’re getting a good deal. They are in part buying an assurance that the insurer has negotiated the best prices from the best network of doctors.

But even the insurers themselves aren’t quite sure about the value they offer; they can’t compare fee schedules with their competitors without colluding. Ditto for the providers.

The result is a system that not only discourages but prevents patients from getting value for money.

Georgia, however, may soon lead the nation in shaking up this system. And the private sector is taking the lead.

It’s doing so through the Georgia Healthcare Leadership Council, an association formed by big companies that buy health care for their workers.

GHLC will collect health-spending data from participating employers. It will aggregate the data by the type of care received — either by single instance (e.g., an annual physical) or by treatment of an entire episode (e.g., a pregnancy).

Then, it will report back the range of prices and average price for each treatment within a given market.

What employers do with that information is up to them. But just having the information could be revolutionary.

“Even if people wanted to make good pricing choices, they couldn’t,” says Mike Cadger, a longtime health executive who leads the new venture. “We think we can take all this complex stuff and boil it down where people can understand it.”

Whether it’s through GHLC — which offers its new service only to firms with 1,000 workers or more — or something else, this is health care’s future.

Once employers know how much health care really costs, they could eliminate provider networks and co-pays, offering instead to cover the market-average price. Employees could pay extra to keep seeing a doctor who charges more. Or they might be allowed to pocket the difference if they choose a less expensive provider.

And before you fret about sacrificing quality for price, know this: The early evidence, GHLC says, is that the best doctors charge the lowest prices.

That’s in part because they tend to see more patients — consumers can’t compare prices, but they do ask friends whether they like Dr. Smith. And it’s in part because, Cadger says, “In health care, when a provider screws up” and has to do further work to fix the mistake, “the patient pays for it.”

If the best doctors are charging lower rates, we need no further proof that this market isn’t working right.

Price transparency changes everything. Patients, not an insurer or government bureau, can decide how to spend their health dollars. We can more easily detect fraud (no more doctors billing five insurers for a total of 30 hours a day).

Get this wrong, and no government action can make a difference. Get it right, and no government action is needed.

69 comments Add your comment

LA

January 29th, 2010
8:52 pm

Interesting Kyle, but this might just piss off an entire group of people. College football fans.

Justice Dept.: Obama administration may take action on BCS

The Obama administration is considering several steps that would review the legality of the controversial Bowl Championship Series, the Justice Department said in a letter Friday to a senator who had asked for an antitrust review.

In the letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, obtained by The Associated Press, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote that the Justice Department is reviewing Hatch’s request and other materials to determine whether to open an investigation into whether the BCS violates antitrust laws.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/ncaa/01/29/obama.bcs.ap/index.html?xid=si_ncaaf

small business owner

January 29th, 2010
9:57 pm

Sign me up! This is the first thing I’ve heard in the health care debate that actually might reduce the cost of health care without rationing or other government interference. Why has this taken so long?

Rafe Hollister

January 29th, 2010
10:15 pm

Kyle: I know everyone will say this is impossible but, it should serve as a discussion point in seeking solutions. Here it is. What if insurance for routine medical expenses was outlawed. Your normal everyday tests, doctor visits, lab work, etc was not insured. Have insurance only for major medical or hospital care, surgery, etc. I base this on how medicine used to be. The medical treatment was kept affordable because the only option for payment was the family of the sick person. The physician would prefer to have a dozen eggs as opposed to nothing. Competition would keep prices down as people needing a colonoscopy would shop around and we would have firms adversing a $99 colonoscopy- this week only.

Insurance payments have driven the costs up greatly. People under 50 do not remember a time when they had to pay when they went to the doctor. Since the bill is not theirs. there is no incentive to hold down costs.

Programs could be put in place like Medicaid to pay for the poor and income tax credits could be given for medical expenses (no large amount required or 7% of income or whatever). With a socialist presiding over our government, individual responsibility is a non starter, but in an ideal world things like this would be discussed.

Chris Broe

January 29th, 2010
11:34 pm

great ideas all.

Davo

January 30th, 2010
12:48 am

Anything to move healthcare more towards the freemarket principle is a good thing. It also occurs to me that w/e data is collected could be used to point out ‘clusters’ of a certain ailment; Researchers would find this stuff pretty useful, I would imagine. Fits in with your endorsement of state investment in bio-tech.

Hmmmmm…

Allen

January 30th, 2010
1:45 am

It’s well worth noting that the Senate Bill contains significant price transparency measures. From H.R. 3590, ‘Sec. 2718(e):

“Each hospital operating within the United States shall for each year establish (and update) and make public (in accordance with guidelines developed by the Secretary) a list of the hospital’s standard charges for items and services provided by the hospital.”

High School dropout

January 30th, 2010
8:20 am

Why can’t the doctor just give you a bill like every other business on the planet? Then you could see what it cost. Or is the whole point to hide cost from us?

Morrus

January 30th, 2010
8:40 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over.

deborahinAthens

January 30th, 2010
8:43 am

Kyle, you are so naive…first of all, any dingaling with a computer can find and compare the prices that are charged by insurance companies. If you don’t have a computer and you have time, you also can do it on the phone.If you are not part of a group, your premiums are determined by your age, your pre-existing health issues, whether you’re a smoker, etc., etc. There is no “lack of transparancy” in the system. The problem with Conservatives who keep up the screech of “let the free market” take care of our problems overlook the fact that, without some regulations, and some rules corporations will always, always, always do what is in their own best interests. They are, after all, not a charity. They will look for every loop hole, they will wiggle through every bit of wiggle room to keep from paying a claim. They spend millions of dollars doing this, because it saves them billions of dollars which translate to better bottom line numbers. It makes me ill that the Democrats didn’t even start bargaining with the Repugs from strength–they should have come out with a single payer plan, which was what most people that voted out the Republicans thought we would get. The Dems are spineless, craven little idiots, and the Repugs are nasty, craven little idiots. Either way, all of our representatives are idiots, doing whatever it takes to keep their behinds in their chairs in Washington. I have heard that “We the People” can handle things in Washington by voting out the idiots we don’t agree with. The problem with that is that we DID vote out the idiots that never did what we wanted. Now we just have a different bunch of coconuts. Nothing is ever going to change, and when I retire and lose my group health care coverage, my husband, who has severe health issues will never, ever get health care insurance. For now, we have enough money so that it doesn’t matter, but if we live another twenty or thirty years, we won’t. That, Kyle, is the issue. All of the “fixes” that the Republicans throw out could have been put in place over the roughly ten years that they had total control of the legislature, the White House, and the Supreme Court. The Republicans did nothing because they get millions from the health care industry. For ten years we got no tort reform, Bush prevented our being able to negotiate drug prices with drug companies when he crammed the Medicare Part D down our throats, so DON’T tell us the Republican have the answer simply by letting the market take over the problem. Remember how well the market worked with energy prices and “transparancy”, when the Repugs deregulated that market. Remember ENRON? Grow up, Kyle.

Chris Broe

January 30th, 2010
8:44 am

Toyota announced the release of the brand new, all new 2010 Toyota Kamikaze today. It doesn’t come standard with any cup holders, or brakes.

It does have a sword rack, though.

Chris Broe

January 30th, 2010
8:49 am

Is Darius Rucker and Tiger Woods the same person? Separated at birth?

Michael H. Smith

January 30th, 2010
8:54 am

One might inquire of the feisty comrade deborahinAthens if Thomas Jefferson is to be consider among the nasty, craven little idiots?

“The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

Disgusted

January 30th, 2010
9:39 am

The problem with our system is that insurers negotiate prices with providers, while the uninsured individual has no way of doing so or even of knowing what the insurer has negotiated. So the poor stiff without insurance gets charged $400, while the same provider gets $120 for the same procedure from an insurance company. I see the difference all the time when I get my insurance statements–what the provider has billed and what the insurer pays in order to pay the bill in full.

It’s purely a byzantine system. The people in the worst position to pay are charged the most, while those most able to pay (most insureds) are charged the least.

You want a system that brings down medical costs? Require providers to charge all customers, regardless of insurance status, the same as they are willing to accept from an insurance company.

Such a proposal won’t sit well with the free market nuts, but at least it’s sane. At present, the uninsured are making up for the discount that providers are giving to insurance companies. That’s one definition of insanity.

Rafe Hollister

January 30th, 2010
9:54 am

Deborah in Athens, interesting comments, but you failed to point out that the Dems are owned lock stock and barrel by the unions and the trial lawyers, so don’t put your hope in them for real reform.

Disgusted, you are so right. My son, age25, doesn not have health insurance and when we have tried to pay on our own, we get royally ripped off, because their is no negiotiated price.

My dad went to the doctor about five years ago. Doctor assumed Dad was 65 and on Medicare. Dad leaves and they hand him the bill, he almost faints in the waiting room. He tells nurse he can’t pay it and she says Medicare will pay, don’t worry, he then explains that he is 63. She says wait a minute Doctor wants to see you. The doctor takes the bill and marks through the price and lowers it by 66$, some system we have.

We have to find some system where we can eliminate the insurance companies and government and get back to individual responsibilty, which will force prices to moderate.

Jess

January 30th, 2010
9:56 am

The last thing this administration wants is a market solution to the problems of health care. They want government control of health care period. They believe health care is a right, and as such should be doled out equally to all people. They feel it is wrong for someone of means to be able to buy better healthcare than someone without means. Of course this will mean lowering the standard for everyone, but this doesn’t matter. The Clinton bill which bombed, is their ultimate goal.

small business owner

January 30th, 2010
10:23 am

Allen and Deborah,

Hospital’s posted prices are meaningless. The only people paying those rates are typically the uninsured. Your insurance company may give you access to their rates, but this tells you nothing about what the market price really is. We have a wholesale price system – not a retail price system. For example, I could care less what Kroger pays for a gallon of milk in the wholesale market as long as a can see the price I’m going to pay at the store and I can easily compare that to what Public and CostCo are charging. This pricing and reimbursement system Kyle talks about not only gives us regular citizens access to the market prices, but gives us an incentive to care. Right now, we pay our copayment and could care less what the real charge is because the insurance company or the government pays the rest. The uninsured really get screwed because they pay the list price – the highest price that no one else pays. This would help a small business like mine negotiate price discounts similar to what the big guys are able to negotiate. It gives us freedom to choose the doctors we want, but adds personal responsibility because we aren’t given a blank check. This is the only way to “bend the cost curve.”

readthe news

January 30th, 2010
10:33 am

This and other insurance solutions could help make our system work. If the government is truly worried about Health care costs bankrupting Individuals because of Chronic or Catastrophic illnesses, then the Government could Re-insure those folks for a Price (Tax)…Of Course the trade-off is that all must participate. Any honest discussion reveals many think health care should be free. Well, It ain’t free, and it never will be. You get what you pay for.
Too many folks are confusing Insurance With Health Care…They have nothing in common. Insurance, a method of financing and Health Care, a professional service provided by (hopefully) highly trained individuals.

readthe news

January 30th, 2010
10:38 am

Many are under the impression that under the present system, insurers pay less for health care than the self-pay customer. This is FALSE. I have negotiated many procedures and paid cash, and less than the insured customer.

Chris Broe

January 30th, 2010
10:46 am

Very meaningful contributions from all commenters here today!

If you pay cash, doctors and hospitals will give you a discount. One of their beefs is the delay in getting their money from the insurance companies. They like the instant cash.

A possible solution to healthcare: A celebrity group-singing fund raiser. What we need is band aid for bandaids.

A Retired Teacher

January 30th, 2010
10:50 am

deborahinAthens,
Thank you for speaking out on this conservative blog. Keep it up. Your cogent thoughts and character analyses are correctly drawn. And, you are right on the money – pun intended.

joan1

January 30th, 2010
11:06 am

All the above sounds good to me. Shouldn’t there be penalties paid by people for care that they brought on themsselves due to their lifestyle choices as well? I understand about 1/3 of our healthcare costs are related to obesity in this country. Perhaps the obese should be required to pay more for care for ailments simply related to the obesity. I also think airlines should charge by the total weight of the person and their luggage, but then maybe that is just too simple.

Health Care Market Maven

January 30th, 2010
11:20 am

The Georgia Health Care Leadership web site is http://www.ghlc.org
There are a number of videos (hosted by Wes Sarginson) explaining GHLC and product demo

The health care reform debate has included all the parties who have a motive to increase health care costs (insurers, doctors, hospitals, pharma, medical device companies, governments) but ignored the most important parties who pay for all of it, namely — employers and employees.

Health care is the largest US industry at 17% of GDP and yet is is the most economically flawed — with artificial government and insurer fee schedules, anti-trust exemptions, price collusion and confusing, ineffective “networks” that distort market prices and prevent provider price competition.

Reveal net paid provider prices to consumers and let them pay out of pocket for prices above market averages. Let the employers and consumers make their selection of providers based on full transparency of price and quality — and make all providers compete on price and quality just like everyone else.

Rafe Hollister

January 30th, 2010
11:38 am

Have you all noticed that the price of Lasik surgery keeps falling, Why, people pay for this themselves and price shop. If insurance paid for Lasik the price would continue to climb.

MB

January 30th, 2010
12:05 pm

Re. Small Business Owner @ 10:23 – “The uninsured really get screwed because they pay the list price – the highest price that no one else pays.”

This is not always the case. Recently when I went to purchase a replacement for a failing CPAP machine when I inquired as to the price the question was asked, “Is this a private purchase or an insurance purchase?” When I asked, “What difference does it make?” I was informed that could sell it to me directly as a private much cheaper than the purchase price for an insurance sale because the significantly mark-up the price well above and beyond the private sale price to more than offset the negotiated insurance covered price.

Yes, even with the insurance negotiated discounts, their price was still higher than if I were to purchase it direct as a private sale. This provider was at least attempting to help private individuals who they knew could ill afford to pay for these things as compared to the group purchase price.

@@

January 30th, 2010
12:19 pm

Kyle, this concept sounds like what Whole Foods advocates for their employees. Years ago I had need to see a doctor on the northside of Atlanta. When the bill came, my insurance provider said the fee charged was over and above the customary. I was left with a huge remainder to be paid out of pocket.

I called the doctor’s office to ask why the difference. Their answer? “Our care is of a better quality than that offered on the southside.”

“Oh really” said I….”and who makes that determination?”

Their response? “Well…you chose our service, did you not?”

“Yours is a specialized field…no one on my side of town offers your specialty, but still…”

Long story short…I asked them to write it off. They wouldn’t. I then told ‘em it was worth about $5.00 a month and that I looked forward to receiving their monthly bill. The initial bill was $865.00 to be paid out of my pocket. After two years of receiving $5.00 a month, they eventually wrote off the remaining $745.00.

Disgusted

January 30th, 2010
12:39 pm

@@’s a welcher, too? Ewwwwwww.

@@

January 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

Disgusted:

@@’s a welcher, too?

How so? In the end, the doctor admitted his services were worth $120.00 over and above what my insurance paid.

We simply came to an agreement…a meeting of the minds, if you will.

Guy Davis

January 30th, 2010
1:24 pm

Kyle, You state “But even the insurers themselves aren’t quite sure about the value they offer; they can’t compare fee schedules with their competitors without colluding. Ditto for the providers.”

The 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, through which Congress gave the several states the authority to regulate the “business of insurance,” provided federal antitrust exemption (immunity from prosecution) to health insurance and medical malpractice insurance companies for antitrust violations, including price-fixing, bid rigging, and market allocations. Bipartisan legislation filed in the U.S. Senate to fully repeal this immunity was introduced in 2007 and again in September 2009. It seems to be going nowhere and receiving little attention in the media.
Why is it not in our best interest to subject health insurers and medical malpractice insurers to the same good-competition laws that apply to virtually every other industry doing business in the United States? This lack of free market competition has got to have an adverse effect on the price of our healthcare and the costs of medical malpractice insurance for our physicians.

DAVID--AJC Truth Detector

January 30th, 2010
1:43 pm

GOOD LORD…….Going to the ER…………..is not like shopping at WALMART…or TARGET……or getting new tires….The hospital will let you pay monthly for any bill. WHAT IS YOUR Beef with the existing Health Care System in the U.S.

StevenCee

January 30th, 2010
2:46 pm

1. I think calling for “transparency” in pricing is a good thing, GOOD LUCK! I belong to Kaiser, and I can’t even get them to tell me what anything costs ahead of time! Plus, as you said, it’s different prices for different people, I don’t know any other industry that is so mysterious & hugely inconsistent. Why should a person be charged up to three times or more, as another?

2. I don’t know where you got that wack “logic” that “those who charge less are the better doctors”! That simply is not only untrue, but would be very difficult to back in any kind of statistical manner. I know plenty of doctors who are great, & charge a lot of money, as I do those who are great, and don’t. Most of the time, what they make is more determined by external factors, who they’re employed by, what their specialty is, etc. But to simply say the cheaper ones are better, is laughable.

3. Even if we know how much every procedure & doctor charge, how will that bring down the cost of healthcare? Even the “less expensive” providers, especially when dealing with major surgery, or diseases, are going to be enough to bankrupt all but the top 1% of Americans. I’ve had good healthcare via Kaiser for 30 years, but the costs are climbing so much EVERY YEAR, that I am barely hanging on. This doesn’t even take into account those who are refused coverage, booted off of plans, or when the chips are down, find their “good insurance” won’t pay for life-saving procedures!

4. The problem is systemic, the insurance & drug companies have been allowed to become grossly profit-fat over the years (mainly the last 30), something impossible in every other developed nation (since they all have universal coverage, unlike us). Until we change this methodology in a major way, we will see tens of thousands unnecessary deaths & a million or more bankruptcies every year, as a consequence of our “free market” non-system.

DAVID--AJC Truth Detector

January 30th, 2010
2:48 pm

NEWS FLASH…..ER bill will be reduced by 40% for CASH $$$ only patients…HOSPITALs will, will, will, reduce the bill by 40% for out-of-pocket paying patients…NO NEED FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL OF HEALTH CARE………….U liberal idiots..

Disgusted

January 30th, 2010
3:05 pm

DAVID–AJC Truth Detector

January 30th, 2010
2:48 pm
NEWS FLASH…..ER bill will be reduced by 40% for CASH $$$ only patients…HOSPITALs will, will, will, reduce the bill by 40% for out-of-pocket paying patients…NO NEED FOR MAJOR OVERHAUL OF HEALTH CARE………….U liberal idiots..

David, if you can’t understand the topic or its ramifications, why don’t you get off the blog, go to school a few years, and then come back? Your argument that health care providers will permit installment payments has nothing to do with the cost of health care and its problems. People who can’t afford the current spiraling and inconsistent prices won’t be better off by virtue of being able to pay in installments.

Hillbilly Deluxe

January 30th, 2010
3:57 pm

I actually know a General Practitioner who was fired from a group for “spending too much time with the patients”. Fortunately, this doctor was able to get with a group where they are allowed to practice medicine as they see fit. Been doing quite well for several years now.

I’ve also been to a high dollar specialist who acted like he couldn’t get out of the room fast enough when I was there for a visit. I don’t think he ever spent more than 3 or 4 minutes with me. Needless to say, I found me another one.

LA

January 30th, 2010
4:16 pm

“David, if you can’t understand the topic or its ramifications, why don’t you get off the blog, go to school a few years, and then come back?”

Are you a doctor by chance, Disgusted?

LA

January 30th, 2010
4:37 pm

“People who can’t afford the current spiraling and inconsistent prices won’t be better off by virtue of being able to pay in installments.”

Want to know why? Because Obama has no clue what he’s doing. People are losing health insurance because they are LOSING THEIR JOBS!!!!!!!!

Disgusted

January 30th, 2010
4:42 pm

Are you a doctor by chance, Disgusted?

Not unless you count a PhD, LA–something it’s for sure you’ll never qualify to earn.

LA

January 30th, 2010
5:11 pm

“Not unless you count a PhD, LA–something it’s for sure you’ll never qualify to earn.”

1: Only a complete idiot would assume someone else lacks a degree etc…
2: I HIGHLY doubt you are a PHD. But then again, one can earn a PHD in just about any field.
3: You’ve already proven you lack an education because of your lack of tact, discernment and aggressive comments.

Bottom line: Just because you hold a degree in pottery making, doesn’t make you a doctor.

LA

January 30th, 2010
5:13 pm

“@@’s a welcher, too? Ewwwwwww.”

Point proven. NO PHD would get on a blog, and consistently put others down.

LA

January 30th, 2010
5:14 pm

And Kyle, just for the record, Disgusted put me and a few others down. I asked her a simple question and she goes and assumes that I am not “qualified” to comment on the subject of health care.

Jack

January 30th, 2010
6:21 pm

This happy liberal is glad to see any positive discussion on fixing our broken health care system. You’re doing a hell of a job Kyle!

Disgusted

January 30th, 2010
6:25 pm

Aw, LA, I suppose your getting kicked off the Bookman blog leads you to try to get somebody–anybody–kicked off this blog.

I indeed question anybody who thinks that offering installment payments to people who can’t afford to pay medical bills up-front currently is any kind of solution–sort of like offering a bankrupt person more credit. If people were able to do that, they could afford health insurance. Ditto for haggling with doctors and hospitals over price. Sick people are hardly in the position to negotiate, and currently, it simply isn’t done, at least by most. In any case, patients should not have to be in a position to need to negotiate prices with providers. They should know up-front what the price is, and that price should be the same as the one offered to insurance companies. Of course, I’m aware you weren’t the one taking those positions.

But if you want to cry and moan, feel free. You seldom offer anything of substance on any blog you inhabit, except to try to antagonize people, and crying and moaning is better than a lot of the arguments you make.

High School dropout

January 30th, 2010
7:09 pm

The amount of posts that LA pounds out remind you of anyone? Some traits are hard to disguise.

LIberal Pariah

January 30th, 2010
8:16 pm

As someone who makes their living in the healthcare industry, I can tell you that pricing transparency will not help because the price of healthcare is set by what the insurance company will pay, not what the physician or hospital charges. It doesn’t matter what the physician charges, Medicare pays what they want to pay and there’s not much you can do about it. We have contracts with the payors that specify what they pay for the services rendered. We have to inflate the ‘retail’ price because the payors make ‘contractual adjustments’ or discounts off of that price before they pay us what they were going to pay anyway. If people were allowed to purchase their own healhtcare from individual companies in a competitive market, then pricing and all the rest of the points in this discussion would matter. A good start would be to abolish the tax incentives that make employers the primary source of health insurance and then open the market up to competition just like all other types of insurance.

@@

January 30th, 2010
8:19 pm

Disgusted:

I wasn’t talking about negotiating prices before the procedure. I made an offer after the fact… the doctor refused. There are any number of credit counseling services that would offer the same advice. The delay in payment may impact your credit score but I didn’t have to worry about that. My house is paid for and I don’t buy on credit.

There’s a Congresswoman out of Ohio who submitted the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009 to wipe paid and settled debt incurred through health care from credit records. Have no idea what resulted from her effort.

You have rights, Disgusted, regardless of what this administration would have you believe.

Assert those rights…don’t be a chump.

@@

January 30th, 2010
8:53 pm

Disgusted:

Since you are lacking in know-how, I brought this over.

Slash Your Medical Bills: 7 Ways to Haggle

My $5.00 a month were what’s known as “good faith payments” although I must admit, there was nothing good behind my intentions. He wouldn’t play ball so I took “his” and walked away with $745.00.

Robert

January 30th, 2010
10:26 pm

“they don’t really know whether they’re getting a good deal. They are in part buying an assurance that the insurer has negotiated the best prices from the best network of doctors.”

Partially correct. I have been in on some of these negotiations……the real problem is that companies can only “negotiate” with a predetermined number of insurance providers…….for example……in Georgia you just about have to work with Blue Cross……when there are another thousand companies out there who could compete……but the Federal Government will not allow this. So who is really causing the problems in health care insurance…….Blue Cross or The Feds. It’s clear, the Feds. OPEN UP THE MARKET

Robert

January 30th, 2010
11:44 pm

Mr. Wingfield appears to be the only reasonable conservative in a newspaper that consistently runs articles by ‘conservative’ wingnuts. Sowell and Krauthammer can hardly go a paragraph without propagandizing, and Wooten fools no one with his disingenous good old boy anti-guvamint approach. Boortz, of course, continues to enjoying purveying political pornography that makes conservatives look like idiots.. At times, I have wondered if the last 4 writers were chosen by the liberals at the AJC in order to discredit conservativism. Anyway, Wingfield is an emerging stronger voice in a conservative movement that is sadly pretty much overrun by rich radio media elites who bask in the adulation and rake in the gold—even more so than their counterparts on the left.
Glad he is on board…and really, not a bad set of comments….falling apart a bit here at the end, though…

Robert

January 31st, 2010
12:16 am

Two different Roberts…we are not related…though, there has been some evidence to suggest that all Bob’s come from the same ancestor somewhere near Ouagadougou.

artatlarge

January 31st, 2010
2:07 am

Seriously…do Right-wingers have anything to offer except for problems like this except for letting the market price itself?
Wasn’t tort reform supposed to enable the market to price itself downward?
Anyone who thinks that the free-market greed of the past and present will magically fix itself if only we “get out of the way” is delusional.
Isn’t how we got in this health-care mess anyway?

Healthnut

January 31st, 2010
7:00 am

Wow! Giving consumers the cost info to comparison shop health care providers will be a “game changer.” Finally, we consumers may be able to choose our doctors based upon cost. What a concept! Maybe we can even turn the health care industry into a free-market like the rest of our economy. Revolutionary!!! Where do I get my employer to sign up?