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Everybody Sees Cost as Healthcare’s Disease But Disagrees on Cure

Americans agree on the main problem plaguing healthcare. They diverge on a solution.
Two articles published a day apart this week in widely read publications highlight this phenomenon of shared premises not leading to the same conclusions. Both lament out-of-control prices, which almost provokes a “duh” response until one remembers that less than a decade ago that universal coverage, not affordable cost, served as the main gripe of reformers. But both articles offer solutions so different that one’s cause practically serves as the other’s corrective and vice-versa.
Gerald Scimeca, vice president of Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, argues in the Hill that, rather than leading to efficiency, consolidation in the medical sector reduces competition, which inflates price.
“The healthcare industry is shrinking,” Scimeca writes. “Mergers of hospitals, healthcare providers, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers [have] drastically changed the healthcare landscape. What’s left is a greatly contracted, less competitive market, in which costs

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