In his recent speech on health care, President Trump highlighted a proposed rule that hospitals make their prices public. It’s time for hospitals to comply. Transparency will likely lead to lower prices and a reduction in health care spending.
Many policy experts dismiss the importance of price transparency in health care. Skeptics argue that because health insurance insulates patients from prices, patients have little incentive to seek out the cheapest provider. These critics also cite studies showing that few patients use price transparency tools and that minimal savings result. On both these points, they are right. But their analysis is incomplete.