FTC: Healthcare Law May Lead to Illegal Monopoly

Wednesday, 09 Feb 2011 03:42 PM

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At least one government official fears the national healthcare overhaul could encourage medical professionals to break the law, The New York Times reports. At issue is whether a provision of the new health statute that encourages cost-saving collaboration among doctors and hospitals will, at some point, lead them to form monopolies that violate the nation's anti-trust laws.

FTC, healthcare, monopoly, doctors“An influential Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission, J. Thomas Rosch, said that without ‘vigorous antitrust enforcement,’ the new alliances of health care providers could reduce competition and increase costs to consumers,” the Times reports.

That position puts the FTC potentially at odds with the Justice Department, which is reportedly more amenable to letting hospitals and doctors band together. The internal government debate over whether those merged healthcare entities will turn into illegal monopolies could delay the experiment.

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