It is supposed to be really nice out this weekend. After playing outside, maybe duck into theaters for Disney’s live-action version of its 1989 feel-good animated movie: The Little Mermaid. Just like the resilient and brave Tina Turner, this is a story of a young woman who is determined to make her dreams come true despite some serious barriers. Making prices transparent in the American health care system is a similar dream-with-barriers story. In fact, we are guessing that President G.W. Bush brought his twin daughters to theaters to see the first Little Mermaid film when they were 7 years old — which was undoubtedly the inspiration for his 2006 executive order to make health care prices transparent. Since then, CMS issued rules to force hospitals and health plans to publicly post prices, but it is not going so well. In fact, Congress is holding hearings to find out what is going so wrong. Experts and advocates are publishing multiple articles explaining how to change the rules (here, here, here) so that everyone can actually understand and use the information. It turns out there are so many layers of price information it is like they are underwater. Just like the Little Mermaid’s quest to get out of the water, health care prices need to surface. Until then, prices are likely to stay Under the Sea.
2 days ago | 2 min read
May 26, 2023
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