Balancing Competition and Government Allocation of Health Care Resources: The Berger Commission Report

Brooklyn, New York
20 September 2007
Hosted By: Brooklyn Law School

In the US, antitrust laws promote competition as the best method for allocating resources and encouraging innovation. They also reflect our society's belief that competition in the commercial marketplace, including the health care markets, enhances consumer welfare and promotes economic and political freedoms. Therefore, when in 2006 the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (the Berger Commission) produced a plan to "rightsize" the hospital and nursing home capacity in the state of New York, the effort raised concerns about how to strike the proper balance among cost, quality, and utilization. This program, hosted by Brooklyn Law School on 20 September 2007, explored the difficult legal and policy questions raised by government allocation of health care resources and its impact on competition, access to care, and other market forces. NERA Vice President David Monk discussed unintended consequences of the Berger Commission, and also presented an historical overview of perceived efficiency of the health care markets. In addition, Mr. Monk discussed regulation in the health care systems and why competition generally is a better approach.

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