Here in Grouchville economics are pretty simple. You can't reduce health care costs with a third party payer system where the customer is unaware of the true cost of the service. True savings and market driven health care decision making comes when the customer is directly engaged with the provider, knows the price of the service up front, and can decide if it is in their economic self-interest to pay for that service. Third party payer systems, whether insurance companies of the government, short-circuit market forces and rational decision making by customers, and add extra costs and overhead. In Grouchville, there are many entities like Wal-Mart, and Walgreens that offer medical services at a low price for cash on a walk-in basis, and the competition is fierce.
Earlier this month, Wal-mart and Sam's Club announced they will be offering $24 flu shots administered by Mollen Immunization Clinics at more than 4,100 select stores and clubs nationwide. Customers can visit http://www.walmart.com/flushots or http://www.samsclub.com/ to find specific dates, times and locations for the flu vaccination clinics.