End the duopoly

The health care industry’s winners and losers in the midst of the pandemic

It isn’t exactly a secret that the American health care system is a messy hodgepodge of industries with often inscrutable—and adversarial—relationships with one another.

Hospitals, physicians, drugmakers, private insurers, public insurers, middlemen such as drug distributors and pharmacy benefits managers, and others must, by nature, work together to deliver care and make this labyrinthian system workable for consumers and patients.

But the reality is that the end goals and profit incentives can diverge significantly among different segments. That’s just the status quo in the U.S. Add a global pandemic, and you’ve got a perfect storm of industry competition that favors certain segments while devastating others. It makes winners and losers out of intricately linked sectors.

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Those disparities have shifted significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. Loser: Hospitals and doctors

But the job losses within health care are striking—especially given that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care had been a consistent source of new employment. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics had projected that health care occupation growth would climb “14% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 1.9 million new jobs.”

You might think that in the midst of a pandemic, hospitals and doctors would see […]

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