It appears that the Obama Justice Department is on a mission to reform health care and lower costs by increasing competition. In a Michigan lawsuit, Justice is alleging that Blue Cross Blue Shield's signed agreements with most of the state's hospitals to set minimum prices that they can charge to BCBS competitors, in exchange raising the BCBS reimbursement rate a bit, are anticompetitive. This looks like basic monopolistic behavior, and it's disturbing to see it coming from a non-profit organization.
The fundamental inefficiencies in the U.S. healthcare system arise from perverse incentives inherent in the overgrown health insurance industry. Global Review is cheered to see the Obama Administration taking on the powerful insurance companies instead of entrenching them, as it did in the partisan health care reform bill earlier this year.