by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
I was struck by the irony today when the I saw that the Department of Justice is suing in an attempt to block a merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
The merger “would substantially lessen competition for commercial air travel in local markets throughout the United States and result in passengers paying higher airfares and receiving less service,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
“Airline travel is vital to millions of American consumers who fly regularly for either business or pleasure,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
“This transaction would result in consumers paying the price, in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices.”
But that doesn’t apply to the market for health insurance? Because Obamacare is reducing the number of insurers available to patients, limiting the types of insurance plans available, and lowering the overall level of competition. Seems to me that less competition will likely have the same impact on health insurance that the DOJ is claiming this airline merger will have on air travel. Consumers will pay the price through higher prices and fewer choices.
Maybe DHHS should listen to DOJ on this one.