The fact that a third party pays for just about every medical procedure has resulted in a situation where neither the health care providers (your Doctor) nor the customers (the patients) know the price of the good/service being purchased:
I've gone to the doctor with my child trying to get stitches for a cut. Before I went in, I asked what this was going to cost, because I was going to have to pay for it. They didn't know.Not only does nobody know how much anything costs, since the customer doesn't have to pay for the procedure, people have no incentive to ration. Why not have every procedure known to man if you don't have to pay for it.
Stop for a minute and think about this. Is there *ANY* other service provider that you pay for, where they have zero idea of what the cost is going to be?
The reality is that the doctor's office didn't need to know. Their job is not to let the patient make an informed decision about the cost and benefit of the procedure/service that is being performed. Their job is to do the service and take care of the billing later.
If we did away with medical coverage as we know it (along with all the 3rd parties with their hand in the till along the way), customers would be forced to make choices, competition would cause doctors to lower their prices - and they could since they wouldn't need a small army in their billing office filling out 800 forms in triplicate for the kid coming in for two stitches.
UPDATE: I further expanded on my views last year.