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President Trump signs yesterday's executive order. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Industry groups came out with guns blazing yesterday against President Trump's executive order on price transparency for hospitals. And plenty of experts are skeptical that it will bring prices down.

What's next: Industry will have ample opportunity to kill or weaken the new rules while the administration fills in the details through the regulatory process.

Between the lines: Health care economists and hospitals are on the same side — although perhaps for different reasons.

  • "I would expect the health care industry to oppose any government mandate to disclose what it considers to be confidential business information," the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt said.
  • "While transparency might not lead directly to lower prices, it could spur political action to deal with them, and that’s something the industry certainly wants to avoid," Levitt added.

What they're saying: If the price-disclosure requirements "take the wrong course...it may undercut the way insurers pay for hospital services resulting in higher spending," Chip Kahn, president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, said in a statement.

  • "Competition experts...agree that disclosing privately negotiated rates will reduce incentives to offer lower rates, creating a floor – not a ceiling – for the prices that hospitals would be willing to accept," said Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Both groups cited the Federal Trade Commission, which wrote in a 2015 blog post that it's "especially concerned when information disclosures allow competitors to figure out what their rivals are charging, which dampens each competitor’s incentive to offer a low price, or increases the likelihood that they can coordinate on higher prices."

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.