As millions of Americans are aware, health care costs continue to increase rapidly. Much of this increase is due to the development of new life-sustaining drugs and procedures, but part of it is due to the increased monopoly power of physicians, insurance companies, and hospitals, as the health care sector undergoes reorganization and consolidation. There are two tools to limit the growth of monopoly power: government regulation and antitrust policy. In this timely book, Deborah Haas-Wilson argues that enforcement of the antitrust laws is the tool of choice in most cases.
The antitrust laws, when wisely enforced, permit markets to work competitively and therefore efficiently. Competitive markets foster low prices and high quality. Applying antitrust tools wisely, however, is a tricky business, and Haas-Wilson carefully explains how it can be done. Focusing on the economic concepts necessary to the enforcement of the antitrust laws in health care markets, Haas-Wilson provides a useful roadmap for guiding the future of these markets.
[Haas-Wilson] demonstrates an immense depth of scholarship in the law and economics… [T]his is an excellent book… Economists and laymen who care about health policy or health antitrust should read this book.
Haas-Wilson carefully examines the appropriate role for government intervention in the rapidly evolving health care markets. Her fundamental conclusion is that competitive health care markets yield generally positive outcomes and that government policy should rely on antitrust enforcement to create and preserve such competitive markets.
Antitrust is emerging as one of the hottest dimensions of health policy as America goes ever further down the road to market competition as our mechanism for controlling costs and motivating performance. Yet we lack any sustained treatment of the issues. This book will fill that need. It addresses an important set of issues at the confluence of health policy, economic theory, and antitrust law and policy. There is no other book like it.
Written by a well-known and articulate economist, this book gives an enlightening account of health care antitrust law and policy. Coverage of the economic and legal literature is outstanding and up-to-date. The author makes a convincing argument for a principled, economics-based health care antitrust policy. Everyone with an interest in health policy, health economics or antitrust should read this book.
- Harvard University Press
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