On May 17, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on health care costs and consolidation. The hearing, entitled “Why Health Care is Unaffordable: Anticompetitive and Consolidated Markets,” featured witnesses from Harvard Medical School, Duke Law, a pharmacy, the Oklahoma insurance commission, and Families USA.
Witnesses focused their testimony on reports of increased mergers and acquisitions in health care. Committee members raised concerns throughout the hearing about insurers and pharmacy benefit managers and the role they play in the cost of prescription drugs. Some members of the committee also questioned witnesses about so-called site-neutral payment policies and the Affordable Care Act’s (P.L. 111-148) prohibition on physician-owned hospitals.