Issues

Health Care & Pharmaceuticals

Monopoly is a huge factor in driving up prices and driving down quality in America’s health care sector. After waves of hospital mergers, most Americans now live in communities where only one or two hospitals still compete for their health care dollars, and where competition among health care insurers has also largely disappeared. Meanwhile, competition in the pharmaceutical industry is stymied by patent monopolies and highly concentrated corporate ownership.


The Role of Monopoly in America’s Prescription Drug Crisis

Date Published: December 9, 2019

Open Markets Institute released The Role of Monopoly in America’s Prescription Drug Crisis on December 9, 2019. This new white paper exposes how big pharma drives up drug costs through patent monopolies, abuses of regulations, and corporate consolidation. These forms of monopoly thwart competition, stifle innovation, cause drug shortages, and decrease drug safety. We offer policy solutions for lawmakers and regulators to rein in the outrageous drug prices facing Americans.

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The Role of Hospitals in America’s Health Care Crisis

Date Published: December 2, 2019

Open Markets published a report on December 2, 2019, on the role of hospitals in America’s health care crisis. An often-overlooked factor behind high prices for medical services is the increasing corporate concentration of ownership, particularly among hospitals. Hospital consolidation should be a standard part of health policy discussion, particularly if proposals to move to a single-payer system gain steam. In this report we outline the challenges and solutions to concentration in hospital markets.

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Private Equity Chases Ambulances

Date Published: October 3, 2019

Open Markets Health Care Researcher and Reporter Olivia Webb writes on The American Prospect about how investment firms have bought up emergency medical service companies, squeezing soaring profits from vulnerable patients. “The Great Recession created an opportunity to financialize the practice of lifesaving emergency transport,” she writes. “After 2008, a number of private equity firms moved to take over ambulance and air ambulance providers.”

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Benefits Pro: Wanted – More health care competition

Date Published: August 22, 2019

Benefits Pro reporter Scott Woolridge reports that the consolidation of market share in health-related industries has happened largely under the radar. He cites Open Markets’ American Concentration Crisis report and interviews Executive Director Barry Lynn on how consolidation is impacting every day Americans. “This stuff could be fixed by the DOJ and the FTC tomorrow,” he says. “There is an ample amount of power in federal and state governments to address this, it’s just not being used.”

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The Corner Newsletter, July 26, 2019: The Corner Newsletter: Commissioner Chopra’s Powerful Dissent – How Trump’s New Executive Order on Hospital Pricing Could Change Health Care – Three Takeaways from the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s Latest Hearing

Date Published: July 26, 2019

Welcome to The Corner. In this issue, we highlight a powerful dissent in the Federal Trade Commission’s settlement with Facebook, discuss why the Trump Administration’s new hospital pricing rule won’t fix American healthcare, and identify three key takeaways from last week’s House subcommittee hearing on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

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Axios: The U.S. health care system is full of monopolies

Date Published: June 10, 2019

Axios reporter Sam Baker publishes an exclusive report on Open Markets’ second volume of concentration data looking at consolidation in healthcare-related industry sectors. “America’s health care crisis is brought you by monopoly,” Open Markets policy director Phil Longman told Axios.

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In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history.

The Open Markets Institute, formerly the Open Markets program at New America, was founded to protect liberty and democracy from these extreme -- and growing -- concentrations of private power.

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