What scares me most in the article is the lack of knowledge the consumers have by design. First there are the doctors and hospitals with incentives to promote treatments whether because of kick backs or to pay for the new equipment. How should a patient know what is in fact needed/best for their condition and their pocketbook? Then we add on the crazy billing for services and treatments, often with double or triple billing. I spent a long time going through my hospital bill to get it correct when I was hospitalized for my MS. I've spent dozens of hours in just the past year fighting billing errors and even stopping going to an infusion site over their insistence I get additional blood work every month. I fought the extra needle because I saw and felt it, but the cost was hidden in their bills to my insurance.
As I look at our healthcare market, I see a broken attempt to allow consumers to navigate. We haven't the information, and often when we take the time to try and get the information, we haven't the understanding. The irony with MS is those with MS often have cognitive issues making navigation of the system even harder. The thing is, it's not just MS. Most of us aren't going to the doctor because we are healthy and in the best mental place to make complicated choices. I find the expectation that we the patients should be able to make these decisions in a rational manner to be unreasonable.
When consumers can no longer be expected to make rational decisions to advance their best interest, how can one expect a free market to work? Why do we keep trying to force the square through the circle hole?