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Health care costs should be disclosed upfront

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If you dine at a fancy restaurant, and they don’t put the prices on the menu, you can bet the bill isn’t going to be cheap. If you walk into a fast food restaurant, you can see on the menu board exactly what everything costs. When you know the cost, you can make an informed decision.  Perhaps our hospitals should be run more like fast food joints than fancy restaurants. Because when you go to a hospital, you typically have no idea what it will cost. You don’t know what the procedure will cost, how much your insurance will pay, and what you will have to pay out of pocket. It’s a guessing game. But President Trump wants to change that. New rules from the Trump administration would require hospitals and insurers to disclose upfront the actual prices for common tests and procedures. Imagine that. Being able to make an informed decision as a consumer. Being able to select the best care at the lowest price. Comparison shopping between Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System. If I knew I could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by getting the work done at one hospital over another, why wouldn’t I? Of course, the disclosure requirements face pushback from the health care industries. But President Trump is right. It is time to straighten the confusing maze of health care costs, and give the consumer some say in what they pay.

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