October 08, 2014

Market Magic in Health Care

My friend Pat McGuigan has an excellent new commentary airing on KOKC NewsTalk 1520. Here's a transcript.
I was thrilled to cover the recent first-ever national conference of the Free Market Medical Association.

Several hundred folks gathered in Oklahoma City last month. They were thinkers, doers, and users – doctors and consumers who shared forecasts and ideas on how to create free-market health care practices. That is, how to use free-market care to save money and get better results.

It’s no wonder the founding meeting was here. Leading the charge in the surge for free enterprise in medicine is Dr. Keith Smith, who founded, along with Steve Lantier, the Surgery Center of Oklahoma – an alternative to government-run health care and the insurance cost accelerators now distorting the health care market in America.

Problems in health care delivery have intensified since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010. Meanwhile, the Surgery Center is gaining worldwide acclaim for posting online prices for common surgical procedures – at one-sixth or so of the cost in big hospitals – and its agreement with the Oklahoma County government that saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last seven months.

Michael Carnuccio, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, said in a recent column, “this movement will only grow, thanks in large part to the millennials. People who grew up with an iPhone in their hand know how to use websites and apps such as HealthCareBlueBook.com, TheZeroCard.com and MediBid.com.”

All this might make a good movie some day. Smith is no politician, mind you, but I’ll volunteer to help write the script for a new Hollywood flick extolling the merits of the market. Call it, “Dr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

This is Pat McGuigan.

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