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As I See It

Hospital price transparency should be a priority



When the Wisconsin Legislature gets back to work, there are plenty of important issues to tackle. The state surplus is still sitting there while lawmakers figure out how it should best be spent. There is debate over changing the state’s tax code and letting us keep more of our money in our pockets. Combatting PFAS pollution, the ongoing fight over redistricting and a plan to legalize medical marijuana also are near the top of the list of legislative priorities. But one issue which should make the list is to help us make medical decisions by requiring hospital price transparency. This would require hospitals to publish prices for all the medical services they provide. A federal law already requires hospitals to do so, but they aren’t complying. A report from last year found only 36% of 2000 hospitals surveyed are fully compliant. Little wonder, given that the law is not being enforced by the federal government. That is why a state law is needed to help Wisconsinites shop for the best prices. Both political parties should be able to agree on this. When facing medical decisions, everyone should have some idea what it is going to cost.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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