Health-care markets have become much more consolidated over time. That consolidation has generally resulted in higher prices without gains in quality or other improvements. There are many health-care markets where competition can be effective, but the right policies are needed to support that competition. In other markets, robust competition would be more difficult to achieve, necessitating a different policy approach.
Gaynor proposes three types of policy reforms that would increase competition in health care and improve market functioning.
- Reduce or eliminate policies that encourage consolidation or that impede entry and competition.
- Strengthen antitrust enforcement so that federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies can act effectively to prevent and remove harms to competition.
- Create an agency responsible for monitoring and overseeing health-care markets, and give that agency the authority to flexibly intervene when markets are not working.