Knowing has a cost. We expend resources, time, energy and effort along the path to becoming aware and informed.
Gaining knowledge is experiential, either primary or secondary learning. The cost of experience is the financial determinant of how much knowledge is valued and is transacted by paying someone to transfer their knowledge of experience or learn through self-guided experience with trial and error efficiency.
At this point in the health care crisis, the argument over cost is the primary issue in determining what to do to insure adequate healthcare for all who deserve it. Healthcare is not an inalienable right; it is a privilege for those who earn it.
The fundamental question at the basis of all healthcare cost debates: What works best for whom and when and how to deliver it?
The answer differs significantly when addressed by policy makers (those charged with determining what is best for society), healthcare providers (those charged with doing no harm when attempting to heal the sick), payors (those who choose to traffic in financing healthcare) and consumptients (society’s consumer/patients who have earned healthcare privileges of making informed decisions).
How much should be paid to learn something depends upon the need to know. The adage “we don’t know what we don’t know” is a chief consideration in most healthcare decisions. The cost of not knowing exceeds the price paid for knowledge.