Remember when Lasik surgery burst onto the consumer market? The small amount of docs who were performing the “surgery” charged a super hefty premium – damn it was expensive! Then, damn near every ophthalmologist jumped onto the bandwagon and introduced competition in health care! Now, it’s advertised based on price and even quality measures. And guess what? Prices have come down. Because when you force individual doctors to compete against one another a funny thing happens. They compete on price and quality and magically prices come way down.
You can see this in dermatology, cosmetic surgery, and opthalmology. Anything that appeals to our vanity, prices are kept in check. They start advertising. They start doing their jobs better because their livelihood depends on it. They even start advertising how awesome they are with the numbers to back it up.
And anytime we have to spend our own money on health care, prices are kept in check. But the vast majority of our health care system depends on us spending someone else’s money, stripping us of “customer” status. And since we’re not the customers, doctors don’t treat us like customers with proper customer service, transparent, competitive pricing, and high quality services.
There is hardly any competition in the health care industry right now. If a system is set up where every health care service is like Lasik or boob jobs, I think we’d start seeing some monumental changes in health care prices. Because right now, the big players are laughing all the way to the bank and bleeding our economy drier than the bones it already is.