Obamacare induces significant consolidation among providers, which the Federal Trade Commissioner has long recognized can be anti-competitive. State antitrust overseers are also pushing back against this effect:
During the 2008 financial crisis, “too big to fail” became a familiar phrase in the U.S. financial system. Now the U.S. health-care system is heading down the same path with a record number of hospital mergers and acquisitions—95 last year—some creating regional monopolies that, as in all monopolies, will likely result in higher prices from decreased competition.
Some see the dangers. In a rare move, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders recently blocked Partners HealthCare—Harvard’s affiliated 10-hospital conglomerate and Massachusetts’ largest private employer—from acquiring three competitor hospitals.
(Marty Makary, “The Obamacare Effect: Hospital Monopolies,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2015)