Wall Street Journal Weighs in on Health Reform Law’s Unintended Consequences

A column in the Wall Street Journal looks at some implications – and unintended consequences – of the health reform law.

According to the column, a primary challenge of the law “…is to prompt one group of consumers to change: the 18 million 20- and 30-somethings who don’t have health insurance. The arithmetic of Obamacare depends on getting more Americans to buy health insurance. If the young and healthy don’t show up, the math doesn’t work—and the cost of insurance for those who do shop in the new exchanges will be higher.”

The column also looks at how the law encourage provider consolidation, which research has shown leads to increases in the cost of care.

“The proliferation of hospital mergers and hospitals’ appetite for buying doctors’ practices—in part to assure a steady stream of patients to fill hospital beds—could create local monopolies that raise prices without increasing efficiency. ‘Historically,’ says Deloitte’s Mr. Keckley, ‘hospital consolidation hasn’t reduced costs.’”

For more information on how provider consolidation increases costs, check out AHIP’s infographic.

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