are what catastrophic insurance is designed for - in a free market. Which of course, in a free market you can shop for in advance. Just like you can buy food in advance - it's just the probability of you'll get catastrophically sick any time soon is much less than the probability you'll eat tomorrow. But the principle is the same.
In a free market, there's no need to 'force' a hospital, clinic or MD to publish their prices. It's in their interest to do so - it forestalls fraud claims. What would become of a grocery store that did not post its prices? Yes - there are probably laws that require them to post their prices - but it's just as likely, that's not the reason they do it. They do it because it's good for business.
Of course, if we insist that people are not responsible to check prices first - that the rest of us are responsible for everyone else's imprudence - shucks, anything goes.
And that's pretty much where we've gotten to.
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