Since we launched our antitrust effort, Centrist Democrats of America has been working to shine a light on the inevitable negative impacts of monopolies and consolidation.
One sector that has been feeling the sting of heavy consolidation is within health care, specifically hospitals. According to a Deloitte study, nationwide, the top 10 health systems control 24 percent market share, and in the past five years, their revenue grew twice the rate of the rest of the market. We have seen that high M&A activity for hospitals not only leads to increasing costs for patients, but it also limits choices for where to receive care.
Taking notice of this issue, the subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, chaired by Senator Amy Klobuchar, held a hearing on Wednesday, May 19 to address these concerns. At the beginning of the hearing, Senator Klobuchar pointed out that while hospital mergers may come with advantages, the research shows that higher prices do ultimately rest on the shoulders of the patient. She alluded to a 2018 study that found that hospital prices are 12 percent higher in monopoly markets compared to those with four or more hospitals.
Centrist Democrats of America stands with Senator Klobuchar in her fight to increase patient access to healthcare and hold the hospital industry accountable for this worrisome consolidation trend.