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The ACA is changing the Industrial Organization of Healthcare | Economics Everywhere

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The ACA is changing the Industrial Organization of
by PATRICK on DECEMBER 31 , 201 5

As the Affordable Care Act has taken shape over the past few years, little has changed. Healthcare costs have continued to rise, insurance premiums have increased, and there are still millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans.
However there are some notable changes that have occurred in recent years. For one, a relatively small number of Americans that did not have health insurance are now insured. Many ACA advocates, including the President, argue that the decrease in the number of uninsured is a clear sign that the plan is working. And yet, we should expect these numbers to drop as it is now required by law to purchase insurance; therefore, this measure does not translate to marked improvement. Secondly, the entire healthcare sector is consolidating in response to the new law. This is an unseen (for some) consequence of the legislation that has greatly reduced competition in the sector. As insurers, providers, and healthcare retailer interests­aca­is­changing­the­industrial­organization­of­healthcare/ 1/4


The ACA is changing the Industrial Organization of Healthcare | Economics Everywhere

gain power, consumers are left with fewer choices.
In recent news there are indications that the five major insurance companies will start the merger process, leaving only three remaining. Aetna is in the process of acquiring Humana, and Anthem is pursuing Cigna. The two remaining super firms will only have one major competitor, UnitedHealth. The three companies will be responsible for administering policies to over half of…...

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