Today's Wall Street Journal features another example of the emergence of Healthcare Consumerism. The cover of the Personal Journal section has the article Patients Get New Tools to Price Health Care. If you don't have a subscription to their on-line site, it basically outlines how many insurers and states are posting the costs of many procedures, such a hip replacement or baby delivery. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire they've posted the charges for 75 of their most common medical procedures. More and more frequently, the real price is leaking into the public domain. This will be good in the long run, though it will sure to create some confusion and cause information overload.
Of concern though, is yesterday's NY Times front page article Wounds Salved, Clinton Returns to Health Care. She claims to have learned much from her disastrous dive into the healthcare in 1993, and promises to be more moderate in her policy views. That she has appeared with Newt Gingrich and seems to be in agreement with many of his views is a good sign, but probably not enough to overcome the bad memories of their presidency's attempt as implementing socialized medicine. Consumers are far stronger and smarter than a decade ago, and the evolution of our system must truly be consumer-centric for the needed changes to happen.