To make our health care system affordable and accessible to all who use it, we urgently need policy reforms, including those aimed at reining in corporate hospital pricing abuses. Many hospital chains have become monopolies in their regions by merging with competing health care providers, and the vast majority of hospital markets in our country are now highly consolidated. This has resulted in decreases in patient choice, dramatic increases in hospital prices, and oftentimes decreases in quality (or lack of improvement in quality).
A beacon of hope, however, emerges as consumer advocates, employers, labor unions and insurers unite, building effective political power bases in opposition to corporate hospital interests, resulting in replicable wins at the state level. By using effective tactics, such as those utilized in Indiana, Maine, Colorado and elsewhere, consumer advocates can organize, fight back and deliver the policy solutions consumers need. If we use these proven tactics, we can create a nation where the best health and health care are affordable and equally accessible to all.