Still, it's frustrating that it's taken this long for the public to get this limited view. U.S. taxpayers are, after all, the ones ultimately on the hook for Medicare costs. Privacy must be protected, but it shouldn't take decades to open the CMMS books. As physicians are so quick to point out, the best patient is an informed patient, and that requires asking questions. Do we really want a health care system where a tiny fraction of doctors and other providers get paid the largest share of our limited resources? This release of data may not answer the question, but it certainly does raise it.