The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Health Reform]

Stop lying.  Not only was Obama successful in scamming the American people, so have been the Republicans.

In a statement Rep. Issa declared, “She (Tavenner) presided over HHS as it deceptively padded the Obamacare enrollment numbers. It was a deplorable example of an agency trying to scam the American people. They weren’t successful this time because of Congressional oversight. We deserve better.” Republicans on the House Oversight Committee had interrogated Tavenner about the miscount at a hearing that also "starred" the former ObamaCare architect, Economic Professor Jonathan Gruber who admitted the Obama administration used unethical tactics to get the healthcare bill passed.


Look folks, this is black-letter stuff -- as in black-letter law.

Robinson-Patman says the following:

(a) Price; selection of customers
It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, either directly or indirectly, to discriminate in price between different purchasers of commodities of like grade and quality, where either or any of the purchases involved in such discrimination are in commerce, where such commodities are sold for use, consumption, or resale within the United States or any Territory thereof or the District of Columbia or any insular possession or other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, and where the effect of such discrimination may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce, or to injure, destroy, or prevent competition with any person who either grants or knowingly receives the benefit of such discrimination, or with customers of either of them: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall prevent differentials which make only due allowance for differences in the cost of manufacture, sale, or delivery resulting from the differing methods or quantities in which such commodities are to such purchasers sold or delivered: Provided, however, That the Federal Trade Commission may, after due investigation and hearing to all interested parties, fix and establish quantity limits, and revise the same as it finds necessary, as to particular commodities or classes of commodities, where it finds that available purchasers in greater quantities are so few as to render differentials on account thereof unjustly discriminatory or promotive of monopoly in any line of commerce; and the foregoing shall then not be construed to permit differentials based on differences in quantities greater than those so fixed and established: And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall prevent persons engaged in selling goods, wares, or merchandise in commerce from selecting their own customers in bona fide transactions and not in restraint of trade: And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall prevent price changes from time to time where in response to changing conditions affecting the market for or the marketability of the goods concerned, such as but not limited to actual or imminent deterioration of perishable goods, obsolescence of seasonal goods, distress sales under court process, or sales in good faith in discontinuance of business in the goods concerned.

How you pay has nothing to do with the quantity of a medical commodity you consume.

You, individually, are the customer.  Not the insurance company (if any.)

Thus, discrimination in pricing for supplies, drugs and other commodities used in medical care between individual patients, where such discrimination tends to reduce competitive pressure, is illegal.

The reason Obamacare was passed is that the limits of this upward ratcheting in cost had reached its natural limit against the ability of persons to pay.

The industry responded with Obamacare, which despite Republican complaints has remained funded instead of crackdowns on these practices that are declared unlawful under Robinson-Patman.

Were the latter to be undertaken, along with prosecution for violations of the Sherman and Clayton acts (which are not limited to commodities; those laws also apply to services, tied sales and similar) there would be no medical cost crisis in the United States at all as medical costs would drop by somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% and you could pay cash for nearly everything, and those services you could not afford to pay cash for would be insurable at minimal cost.

Where are the handcuffs?

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