To the Editor:
Re “Four Key Things You Should Know About Health Care” (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, Sept. 12):
Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs argue that price transparency won’t lower health care costs. Fortunately, they’re wrong, largely because they missed several avenues for how transparency will help.
Transparency should lower prices through four critical paths: better informed patients; better informed employers able to help their workers shop for value; improved ability for employers to discipline middlemen; and public pressure on high-cost providers.
Employers — actually, employees, since all the health care spending comes out of their wages — are paying rates far above hospitals’ marginal costs for providing services.