Statement: California Assembly advances bill to address health care consolidation

Media Contacts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -The California State Assembly passed the Health Care Consolidation and Contracting Fairness Act of 2022 Thursday, ,with a 41-17 vote. AB 2080 (Wood) strengthens and expands the oversight of the California Attorney General over new health care mergers, acquisitions, and other transactions.  

With countless mergers in recent years between hospital systems, health insurers, pharmaceutical corporations and others, health care has become increasingly consolidated. AB 2080 builds on the Attorney General’s existing oversight authority over nonprofit hospital mergers to all health system transactions in order to review the impact these transactions will have on communities, access to and quality of care, costs, and market competition. 

The legislation now heads to the State Senate. 

In response to the bill passage, CALPIRG State Director Jenn Engstrom, issued the following statement 

“When big health systems buy up other hospitals, and even purchase our physician offices or urgent care centers, costs go up – taking more money out of the pockets of consumers, without an improvement in care.  If communities are faced with essentially one hospital system, they’re held hostage to the high prices those systems charge. 

Health care mergers need stronger scrutiny from the Attorney General to protect each community’s consumer and patient interests, and that’s why we’re thankful to the California Assembly for passing important legislation and grateful to the leadership of bill author Assemblymember Jim Wood.”

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