Ironically for Republicans, Michelle Obama may have pointed the way on how best to achieve health care reform.
The core issue dividing GOP factions focuses on driving down the cost of insurance premiums only. How many regulations do you eliminate? How many benefits and protections for pre-existing conditions do you strip out? What are the limits to Medicaid? This narrow approach is a recipe for public relations and policy failure.
But if you couple insurance reforms to transparency in our costs of actual care, a potent dynamic is unleashed. Our health care marketplace is missing actual price tags. You can point to everyday examples where posted prices, to quote Walmart, helps Americans “Save Money” and “Live Better.” Travelosity or Kayak. Truecar.com. “Best Value” college rankings. What’s the common denominator? Total transparency on what consumers pay for the product, which all but forces competitors to match prices, demonstrate the value for their prices, or lose purchasers. In a customer-centric world, we routinely give people the information they need to shop, compare and choose wisely. Except in health care.