Jan 11, 2019

House member targets hospital consolidation

Rep. Jim Banks (right of the pig mascot) wants to limit hospital mergers. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is introducing a bill that would crack down on hospital mergers by increasing federal antitrust staff, requiring hospitals in highly concentrated areas to accept Medicare rates from commercial insurers, and equalizing payments between hospital-owned clinics and independent doctors' offices.

Why it matters: Both parties in the House are now seriously scrutinizing hospitals, which make up the largest portion of the country's health care spending. In addition to Banks' bill, which is almost identical to his proposal from last year, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) told Axios last month he will "launch an investigation into monopoly power in health care markets" this year.

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No one knows when the coronavirus sports shutdown will end

Data: Morning Consult National Tracking Poll of 1,512 self-reported sports fans, April 3-5, 2020; MOE ± 3%; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been 26 days since the sports world effectively shuttered, and fans are eager to start watching games again, but not quite as eager to attend them.

The state of play: According to a new Morning Consult poll, 51% of fans think live sports will return between June and September, while only 8% think the void will bleed into 2021.

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The coronavirus outbreak will forever change the world economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Both the U.S. and global economies are set to be permanently altered by the coronavirus outbreak and the measures that have been taken in response to it, experts say.

The state of play: "Fundamentally there are going to be huge changes in household consumption patterns, business patterns and global supply chains," Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and current economics lecturer at Stanford, said during a Reuters teleconference.

Coronavirus breaks the telecom bundle

Reproduced from Park Associates "Broadband Services in the U.S." report; Note: 2019 survey was conducted in Q3, with 10,059 respondents and a ±1% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

Consumers are adopting stand-alone broadband services at a much higher rate than just two years ago, and analysts predict that the economic downturn prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak will accelerate the trend.

Why it matters: With a recession looming, consumers may look to cut pay TV service in favor of more robust standalone internet packages once they're free to leave their homes.