The cover story of TIME magazine's U.S. edition current issue, dated 04 March 2013, "The Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," is an absolute Must Read for everyone.
Ideologists react viscerally to the words “socialized medicine” just as most Americans did—and still do—to the term “Communist” after World War II. The health care industry lobbies masterfully to exploit that gut reaction. It deflects almost all efforts, excepting perhaps the FDA’s, to establish real control over its pricing and business practices. As to the absurd restriction that Medicaid may not negotiate prices of services and drugs it pays for, that smells more like corruption than just effective lobbying.
As author Steven Brill shows, health care is not a free market. An ill or injured person cannot shop, a condition providers know all too well and exploit to their advantage. Whereas doctors may be bound by the Hippocratic Oath, the business that provide health care are not. Only government regulations can compel them to explain options to patients or control their abusive pricing.