I have no insider knowledge whatsoever and no idea what the folks at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) do behind closed doors. Maybe they have offices full of voodoo dolls.
In public, they seem to be extremely positive and constructive and good at pointing out stuff that anyone of any political stripe ought to be thinking about.
Example: AHIP has now filed a brief telling the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that AHIP members believe hospital consolidation in markets such as Toledo, Ohio, violate federal antitrust laws and could increase the cost of hospital care.
Economists have complicated, conflicting ideas about how health care economics really works.
Some have suggested that, in some cases, increased competition could actually increase health care spending, by, for example, encouraging hospitals to buy expensive, flashy equipment, and for patients to flock to the hospitals with the fanciest equipment.
AHIP contends that the hospital market is, really, a lot like other markets.
The majority of the empirical studies concerning the impact of the wave of
hospital consolidations found that many of the consolidations led to higher prices,” AHIP says in its brief.
Providers, of course, contend that damaging consolidation has occurred in the health plan market.