by Karl Denninger
The list of apparently-unlawful acts just keeps coming, doesn’t it?
I’ve written for essentially the entire time that The Market Ticker has been in publication on the outrageous apparent violations of 15 USC by medical providers of all sorts, whether they be doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies or other suppliers. 15 USC, collectively the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts, form the main body of US Anti-trust law and make unlawful any action by any party with “market power” that intends to or does restrain trade. Among the most-serious and obvious apparent violations are those relating to “tied sales”, where one is essentially extorted into purchasing “insurance” in order to avoid being billed at 2, 3, 5, or even 10x the price for a given service that someone with “insurance” is billed. Business practices that act to effectively force you to buy something you otherwise would not are not only usually unlawful under 15 USC they can also reasonably be viewed as felony extortion — “buy this or be bankrupted if at some point you need to buy that because you’ll be charged 10x as much as the so-called insurance company is charged for the same good or service.”