Monday, November 26, 2018

Mergers May Increase Costs

There was an interesting article in the New York Times recently showing how many of the hospital mergers aren't reducing patient healthcare costs but are actually increasing them due to the reduced competition.  Is this surprising?  Not really.  Americans have been told over and over again how business will take care of us if we just get out of the way and let them reduce competition in the marketplace.  Time and again once the competition has been reduced (or even eliminated) the prices rise because there is nothing keeping them in check.

Here in Texas the average price increases 2010-13 were about 12% but in markets where there were major hospital mergers the prices jumped much more.  In Killeen they increased nearly 30%, in Midland they were up over 20%.

One issue we can all agree on resulting from the mid-term elections is that the cost of health care is going to become a major issue in the 2020 election.  Whether it's Democrats or Republicans, or by some miracle a coalition of both, the issue needs to be addressed and the sooner the better.