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Surprise Medical Bills: A Symptom of a Dysfunctional Market (Guest: David Hyman)

March 7, 2019

Surprise medical bills are an emerging phenomenon symptomatic of a health care system in which prices are running amuck. Expert David Hyman discusses how free market principles can fix the problem.

Surprise medical bills, and its related practice, balanced billing are getting an increasing amount of attention.  The media if full of stories describing consumers receiving medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars because they received care unknowingly from a provider who was not in their insurance network.  A number of states are responding, mostly by mandating a system of arbitration.  Hyman discusses why he doesn’t believe that solution will work or the call for more price transparency. Instead, he offers a more free market prescription, one familiar to consumers.  Hyman also discusses his book, particularly the discussion of prescription drug pricing.  He weighs in on the recent hearing on Capitol Hill where the Senate Finance Committee questioned pharma executives on their pricing practices.  Hyman also talks about “Medicaid for All,” and how it may cost even more than some estimates are suggesting. 

Book:   “Overcharged – Why Americans Pay Too Much for Health Care” by David Hyman and Charles Silver, Cato Institute, 2018

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AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform. @HCPolicy