Would you purchase a car without reading what costs the car dealership added?  Then why should we expect health care consumers to purchase their care without seeing the true cost?

Outside of terrorism and the War in Iraq, the affordability of health care is among most American's chief concerns.  One reason why health care does cost so much is that it is difficult for the consumer to influence the price at any point.  A myriad of payers, government and third parties have obscured the cost of care over time to the point where it is even difficult for practitioners to know how much services cost.

I have devised a new way of looking at health care transparency.  My legislation, H.R. 6053, The Health Care Price Transparency Act of 2006, will oblige states to create systems that would require hospitals to disclose charges, to provide access to that information, and to have health plans provide a statement of the estimated out-of-pocket costs of an individual for anticipated future health care services.

The American health care system needs a healthy dose of transparency so that consumers can truly be knowledgeable and responsible for making their own health care decisions.