Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pittsburgh's Health Care Market -- It's a Pretty Ugly Mess

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an article on the UPMC (hospital system) and Highmark (health insurer) situation in which I and a number of others express opinions. Bottom line -- bilateral monopoly is ugly, and the losers are consumers.


  1. Some inside baseball, not being a local...

    From economist point of view, with two giants at each side of table, can market sort rates and allow for fair play. Or, regulators exist for this purpose, ie, market failure. Govt will need to call shots.

    I ask because case seems like a canary in coal mine for US as reform unfolds.


    ps--realistically, can they live without each other? Who fills the respective beds and pays the bills if they call the divorce attorney?

  2. What Brad said. This seems to be awfully close to the national norm, just carried to an extreme. Most states have just 1-3 dominant insurers. Many cities seem to have 1-3 dominant providers. The battle for market power does not seem to be benefitting the consumers. How does this resolve?


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