One of the basic principles of capitalism or free market economics is that the marketplace sets prices-- not government. It is generally considered anathema for government to tell private businesses what they can charge for goods and services.
Of course, there are exceptions. For instance, the prices charged by certain public utilities (i.e., electric companies, gas companies, etc.) are traditionally determined by the government. In the state of North Carolina, the price of certain types of insurance is set by government. But many people feel that is inappropriate.
During 1971, Richard Nixon imposed price controls to contain inflation. The consensus is that it was a terrible mistake.
In any case, North Carolina Republicans this month proposed price controls on the health care industry. Specifically, Senators Hise, Meredith and Krawiec proposed a bill that would tell health care providers and facilities what they can charge patients. They would force price controls when the provider does not have a contract with the patient's insurance company. But ironically, that is precisely the situation when providers and patients are most free to engage in a free market exchange. Insurance medicine, by contrast, does not truly represent free market economics.
It is understandable that patients sometimes feel victimized by unexpected medical bills. The allure of price controls for medical services might seem very appealing.
But the reality is that consumers must often pay very high prices out of pocket for other types of goods and services-- homes, automobiles, dentists' services, attorneys' services, automobile repair, various types of work done on homes, HVAC providers, etc. But you do not see Senators Hise, Meredith and Krawiec proposing price controls on these industries... nor do you see them imposing price controls on private colleges and universities, with their markedly inflated tuition prices. Instead, they are selecting the medical industry for their own political purposes. And they are ironically selecting one of the few remaining parts of the health care environment where the free market has thus far been allowed to exist.
Once again, we witness North Carolina Republicans posing as advocates for limited government and free market capitalism; but then proving through their actions that they represent precisely the opposite. In fact, these three senators appear to be major advocates for inappropriate, excessive governmental control of the marketplace. That is, in fact, the basis for socialism.
Let's not be deceived that North Carolina Republicans stand for free market capitalism.