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View Diary: Obama to Propose Federal Oversight of Rate Increases (153 comments)

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  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

    Okay, you're starting to sound ridiculous. Facts be damned, huh?

    You can't find one single example in the history of American competition law where a monopoly was broken up outside of a court of law.

    •  we're talking about REPEAL of an (0+ / 0-)

      anti-trust exemption; not the breakup of a "natural" monopoly. and we're not talking about history. i think you're being very disingenuous. and i couldn't help but notice that you didn't address the effect of establishing Medicare for all on monopoly power. please do me the courtesy of addressing that point.

      " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

      by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:31:16 AM PST

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      •  I've written extensively (0+ / 0-)

        on this site on the repeal of the exemption in numberous diaries, beginning with this one from last May. I've also tried to inform this community on antitrust matters generally in a long list diaries on the subject.

        Repealing McCarran-Ferguson will not, in and of itself, end monopoly. What it will do is give the federal government the power to fight monopoly...a similar sort of authority you seem to be against when it comes to price control. Breaking up a monopoly requires litigation under either the Sherman,  Clayton, or Robinson-Patman acts, notwithstanding action by the FTC under the FTC Act. These are civil court actions, not executive regulatory fiat.

        To address your question of Medicare for all, which isn't under significant consideration by anyone with the power to make it happen, it wouldn't...in and of itself, end health insurance monopoly. If health insurers were smart, they'd simply buy a shitload of hospitals and refuse to take Medicare. In the end, Medicare would win, of course. But in the transition period, monopoly would continue to exist without antitrust action.

        •  as an antitrust atty you know this would be (0+ / 0-)

          If health insurers were smart, they'd simply buy a shitload of hospitals and refuse to take Medicare.

          illegal, not to mention prohibitively expensive, time-consuming and speculative; anythng but smart.

          " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

          by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:06:50 AM PST

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          •  They already do. (0+ / 0-)

            Look it up. Plenty of health insurance companies also own plenty of hospitals. Of course, they don't need to own a lot of them now because the current system is more profitable than owning hospitals. But if Medicare for all were enacted, I suspect they'd ramp up this area signficantly and use profits to litigate it to their favor.

            •  and each and every one of them has to show that (0+ / 0-)

              they will not create a monopoly in the process, which is why hospital chains are not bigger than they are,  probably why insurance companies don't own them all.

              " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

              by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:15:28 AM PST

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            •  if they want to be providers, i say let 'em! (0+ / 0-)

              I suspect they'd ramp up this area signficantly and use profits to litigate it to their favor.

              the upside is that they would at least be out of the business of rationing care and they would finally be earning an honest living.

              it's like the old joke:
              Q: who would you most like to have with you on a dessert island?
              A: joe lieberman, because at least it would get him out of the senate

              " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

              by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:24:07 AM PST

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        •  competition from the largest insurer in the land (0+ / 0-)

          To address your question of Medicare for all . . . it wouldn't...in and of itself, end health insurance monopoly.

          would not end the insurance monopoly?

          . . .  Medicare for all, which isn't under significant consideration by anyone with the power to make it happen . . .

          it's not in the sorry little proposal described in the nyt piece, but it could most certainly could be enacted under the reconciliation process. yes we can!

          " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

          by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:12:55 AM PST

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