Speaking of Wal-Mart, medical clinics are popping up in Wal-Mart stores and in other similar markets. The clinics offer people with simple problems like sore throats and ear infections relatively hassle-free care cheap. Almost everything costs $59 or less. And the clinics are typically open seven days a week.
Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a health-policy research organization, explains how these clinics thrive: "They're figuring how to do something faster, better, cheaper! They're responding to consumer demand because they see that they might make some money on this."
When consumers pay for medicine themselves, saving insurance for the big things, and doctors deal directly with consumers, doctors begin to compete. They start posting prices and work to keep them low.
And consumers gain more control of their health care. Instead of governments and insurance companies deciding for patients, patients decide.
Competition gives consumers more choices. And choice gives them power. Remember that when you hear a politician promise to make health case accessible and affordable through the force of government.