Americans don’t care for monopolies. We value competition and understand that unchecked control can quickly distort the market and the product being delivered. Look no further than what’s happening in the tech industry today.
But there is another highly consolidated industry causing harm to the American people. A 2019 GAO study found that in 43 states, the top three insurers controlled at least 80 percent of the large group employer market, and in 37 states the largest three insurers controlled at least 80 percent of the individual market as well. While elected officials debate the effects of Big Tech, they overlook the clear abuses by the country’s largest health insurers. In Alabama, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL) has captured 94 percent of the large group market for health insurance and undermined democracy, transparency and accountability.
Since 2013, BCBSAL has been involved in an antitrust lawsuit for using its monopoly power to reap above market prices and accused of violating antitrust laws to keep their competition from entering the health insurance market, resulting in inflated prices for consumers. BCBSAL has controlled 94 to 93 percent of the market in Alabama for the past five years. Meanwhile, costs for Alabamians continue to rise.