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Insurance Mergers: Weddings Mean Funeral for Healthcare

Home/Healthcare News/Insurance Mergers: Weddings Mean Funeral for Healthcare

Insurance Mergers: Weddings Mean Funeral for Healthcare

by Sally C. Pipes | Orlando Sentinel | September 24, 2015

Insurance Mergers: Weddings Mean Funeral for Healthcare

Sovereign Solutions Editor’s Note:

The linked article speaks for itself on the virtue of even more healthcare insurance mergers.

Less competition in the healthcare insurance market would translate to greater costs to be borne by many. Additional healthcare insurance mergers would reduce at least nominally competitive enterprises.

We do have one objection to the piece, however: 

RELIANCE on government organizations to say “NO” to mergers is NOT the right-headed approach to this. It is government and cartel chicanery that brought this sad state about to begin with!

All of the actions that the State has taken to supposedly make healthcare more affordable has done the opposite. It may be the case that prohibiting mergers through State action at this juncture is better than not, but that is not going to help long term. At some point, if not now, additional healthcare insurance mergers [and much more] will come about and not be prohibited politically.

Any time State intervenes, especially for the stated purpose of “helping” to make something more affordable, we see such price escalate ever higher, to the point of even being more “out of reach.”

Consider housing. Now it takes 30 year subsidized mortgage notes at historically low and artificially kept rates of interest to “afford” a home in the US.

All of the various governmental programs, tax incentives, subsidies, and so many other things have only artificially goosed the housing market price-wise and permitted multi-decade lows in homeowner ownership!

And always be mindful that the State ALWAYS allows, because it does so for a price, various affected persons, people, and organizations of all types and sizes, to create rules, regulations, and even systems that advance their own interests and so at the expense of others.

Political economy, which is the use of the monopoly hold that State has over so-called legal force, fraud, and coercion, is morally wrong as well as economically stupid. Political economy means WIN/LOSE zero-sum and natural economy means WIN/WIN. 

We should be wary of relying on the State to “fix” anything, least of which is healthcare!

The author of the linked article is clear and correct: more healthcare insurance mergers will spell even more troubles for the American healthcare customer.

However, in our opinion, the call for the State to simply stop mergers is rooted in folly and quite simply does not address underlying, root causes as to the issue of exceedingly expensive healthcare and healthcare insurance.

FEATURED CONTENT

Welcome to Unholy Matrimony: Healthcare Edition. Insurance giant Aetna has made an offer to combine with Humana, and Anthem has bid to buy Cigna. If regulators allow these multibillion-dollar deals to go through, three corporate behemoths will dominate the insurance market.

This concentration of market power would be a disaster, immediately reducing the choices available to consumers and undermining competition. Americans will suffer from more-expensive, lower-quality health care. Worse, a health-care sector controlled by a tiny number of huge insurance companies could lead to calls for a government-run, single-payer system.

To protect consumers, regulators at the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice should block the mergers.

In a free market, companies compete to attract consumers by offering the best possible service at the lowest price. A lack of competition allows companies to get away with inferior service and price gouging.

Insurers know that eliminating competition through mergers will enable them to charge higher premiums and provide less-extensive coverage.

Many consumers already lack significant health-insurance options. Seventy-two percent of urban areas have “highly concentrated” health-insurance markets, according to a study by the American Medical Association. In 41 percent of urban areas — and in 17 states — a single insurer controls at least half the market. In all but five states, the top two insurers control at least 50 percent of the market. The mergers would make this unfavorable situation much worse.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have any objections, thoughts, concerns, or contributions? I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. Help me to make this a conversation!

Together we can map out better solutions and truly navigate clearer paths towards quality services, low prices, and better lives.

Oh! And as always, if you find this post useful, do me and so many others a huge favor. When it comes to this kind of information: share and share alike! Information is meant to be disseminated wide and far.

Sovereign Liberty Solutions

Your Home for Liberty Bias in News, Opinion, & Solutions
By | 2017-03-28T10:24:08-04:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Healthcare News|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Matthew. I am founder of and manage Sovereign Liberty Solutions. I am a proponent of free, voluntary association and expression. I understand that there is no single exception or excuse to violate this with the initiation of force, fraud, and coercion. I welcome a genuine dialogue & seek information, news, analysis, and, of course, solutions, whether it be on the individual level or a more voluntary association [group] or even "national" one.

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