Policymakers have had a hard time attracting a large number of issuers to the Medicare Advantage market, but that market is looking much livelier than the commercial health insurance market.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a health policy specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), gave data supporting that assessment Thursday at a hearing on the state of competition the health care marketplace organized by a House Judiciary subcommittee.
Dan Durham appeared on behalf of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) to summarize AHIP’s arguments that provider consolidation and coordination efforts have driven up health care costs.
Richard Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, blamed health insurers for any problems with lack of health care competition, and he noted that hospital prices have increased only 0.9 percent in the past year.
Dr. Barbara McAneny, a witness for the American Medical Association (AMA), said AMA member physicians are suffering both from consolidation of health insurers and from consolidation of hospitals. She said regulators should increase the level of competition in the hospital market by making it easier for physicians to start physician-owned hospitals.
“Low-hanging fruit in this area would be removing barriers to health care market entry that the government itself has created,” McAneny said, according to a written version of her testimony posted on the committee website.
Gottlieb presented AEA data on the level of competition U.S. commercial health plan market.