Often we have no choice but to buy health care services. No one likes to pay money for a purchase forced upon them. The need for health care may strike arbitrarily due to no fault of the sufferer. Health care can be ruinously expensive. It all makes it seem unjust and painful to devote lots of money to it.
So should the price be reduced by all the means available to the modern state? The state could put a lot of pressure on health care providers to force a lower price.. There could be tax incentives for insurance plans that keep price increases lower than a goal. There could be ceilings on annual price increases, limits on the number or MRI’s, government panels to approve treatments and drugs, mandated end of life counseling, penalties for hospitals that have higher than average readmission rates, cash payments to doctors whose patients use fewer services, etc.
What purpose does the price of something have in a capitalistic system, besides extracting your hard earned money?
Price allocates the current supply to those who value it most.
The money you spend on something can be viewed as a willingness to give up all the other things that the money could buy for you. So more accurately price allocates the current supply to the people who relatively value it more among their options. No one can make it possible for you when making purchase decisions to have the options of Donald Trump, but you can make it possible to allocate the resources that you do have among your competing wants, thereby valuing some things more and some things less. Donald Trump probably does not move the demand curve for any medical care, because people like him are very rare. I could charge $100 for an aspirin and would sell very few aspirin. If I were sitting next to Trump in the jury room and he had a headache and wanted an aspirin I might make a $100 sale. The entire supply is what determines the price, and that has to take into consideration people who are more reluctant than Trump to part with $100.
Price also communicates information to the entire economy.
Price signals to suppliers, producers and sellers, how valuable their “things” are. A high price signals a willingness to buy it in preference to lower priced things. A high price also invites more supply. In NYC twenty five years ago you could get a cup of coffee on nearly every block. It was served in a paper cup from a large urn, not good. Enter Starbucks, introducing west coast coffee to NYC. Not only did Starbucks open a store seemingly every block but also thousands of independent coffee shops sprung up, eating places started sprouting European espresso machines, and even McDonalds entered high end coffee. Why did that happen? For decades New Yorkers were offered the same coffee urn product (except at high end restaurants). Suddenly, millions of dollars were voluntary invested by private citizens to supply great coffee. How did they get the idea that escaped them for decades? Did New York citizens not appreciate good coffee while the West Coast did? Later developments showed the demand for good coffee in NYC was as great as in Europe or Berkeley, but the darn suppliers did not know it. Starbucks charging five times the price of a cup of swill, and selling like hotcakes, convinced them, drew capital and effort, and increased the supply of great coffee overnight.
So price under capitalism has an important function of transmitting information. If you suppress the price you short circuit the information.
Why would politicians and bureaucrats think that they can make health care more affordable to people who can order their allocation of money as they see fit without causing over consumption and underproduction of health care?