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Capitol Health Call
January 12, 2011

Antitrust Laws

JAMA. 2011;305(2):139. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1905

A House Judiciary subcommittee heard testimony on the effects of current antitrust laws with respect to the rapidly changing health care marketplace and the imminent changes resulting from passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law last March. At issue was how the law's antitrust exemption for health insurance companies but not for health care workers and hospitals affects efficiencies and quality of care.

Testifying before the subcommittee, Peter J. Mandell, MD, chair of the Council on Advocacy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said, “Health insurance markets are highly concentrated and for the most part insurers possess market shares that are associated with monopsony power—the ability to present physicians with ‘take it or leave it’ contracts that harm the quality and supply of physician services.”

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