Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law & Policy

Document Type

Student Comment


Health care costs continue to rise, forcing consumers to make difficult choices between seeking expensive treatment and risking the consequences without. To combat the inflation of health care costs, the Affordable Care Act implemented a number of policies aimed at improving the quality of care while lowering the cost of that care. In order to accomplish the goals of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems began merging with one another and acquiring smaller groups to incorporate into a vast network of providers. However, many of these mergers offer little value to consumers. Instead, they ultimately drive up the cost of health care services, often with minimal improvements in the quality of care. On the other side of the health care spectrum, medical device manufacturers have managed to control lawmakers through extensive lobbying efforts, eliminating competition from more affordable alternatives and limiting regulations that could be beneficial for consumers. Using a health system and a medical device case study to examine such problems, this article demonstrates how anti-competitive behavior and a lack of rate regulation negatively impact health care costs. It will also propose solutions to resolve these problems so consumers can take back control of their health care.