Having had first hand experience of this in the USA, when my father lay dying in ITU and we kept getting bills from the insurance company 'for information only' I would urge the Minister to give this proposal serious consideration.
This could lead to all sorts of indirect discrimination on the grounds of affordability, deservedness or age. My mother went through agony thinking that certain treatments were being denied my father because the hospital wanted the bed, and he was costing the insurance company too much. She even had a visit from a manager in the hospital about the expense of keeping my father in the unit!
It would be better to approach this generically. A hospital I visited in Edmonton, Canada had signs up around the hospital stating the costs of various treatments.
I think the public would find this more palatable. I for one came back from the USA having buried my father and giving thanks for the NHS we have.
Ela Pathak-Sen, Director, Commotion