A. No one knows. The market has been distorted for so long that there's no way tell what a market price might be.
Reason Magazine has an interesting article on health care reform, and I especially liked these paragraphs:
Right now consumers are locked into the health insurance and health care plans that their employers choose, thanks to previous government meddling with the health care system and the tax code. Consequently, most consumers simply don't have a clue what their health insurance costs. They have no way to reduce those costs, and no incentive to do so, even if they could...
Third party payments are the main source of dysfunction in the American health system. "The devil systematically built our health insurance system," once suggested Princeton University health economist Uwe Reinhardt. As evidence, Reinhardt pointed out that it "has the feature that when you're down on your luck, you're unemployed, you lose your insurance. Only the devil could ever have invented such a system."
So the first step toward real reform is to give consumers responsibility for buying their own health insurance. The employer-based health insurance system must be dismantled, and the money spent by employers for insurance should be converted to additional income. This would immediately inject cost consciousness into health insurance decisions.
When I was growing up, my dad's insurance covered us for emergency room visits. A routine visit to a family doctor was paid out of his pocket, and it didn't happen often. Under the scenario above, a person could choose such a plan or could choose a costlier plan like those many HMOs offer, if any plan at all. It would be the consumer's choice.
Remember, though, that it was government that was touting HMOs as the so-called solution to health care complaints almost 30 years ago.