Americans for Prosperity is taking on what they call a healthcare monopoly down in Albany.
Apparently, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has a monopoly on OB/GYN services and Palmyra Hospital wants to compete.
The press release is below the fold. As the sole provider of obstetrical health care in Albany for decades, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has a monopoly on many of the areas most important medical services – like delivering babies. Unfortunately, the state government has rewarded Phoebe Putney with extraordinary protection from competition by barring other hospitals from providing obstetrical care.
But change and competition are now on the way here in Albany. Under long-needed reforms to the state’s Certificate of Need requirements, competitor hospitals like Palmyra Medical Centers are poised to end Phoebe’s control.
That’s good news to us at Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a grassroots, free-market group that believes Georgians are served by more choices, not less. As grassroots leaders, we encourage free-market policies because we believe the power to choose belongs to the citizens – to everyday people who decide where to buy gasoline and clothes and –yes – even where to give birth to their babies
The idea that only Phoebe is capable of providing OB/GYN services flies in the face of common sense. The truth is competition and choice force all providers to offer quality service. After all, health care is like any other business – you need to do a better job than the competitors, or your customers can go elsewhere. Monopolies like the one sustained by the state for Phoebe Putney stifle the ability for potential competitors to provide better quality services at lower costs.
You don’t need a degree in economics to understand the implications of Phoebe Putney’s insulation from competition. The results are obvious to the working families of Albany: artificially high health care costs and inferior quality of service. Without market accountability, Phoebe Putney can get away with providing overpriced services to expecting parents, who have no other place to turn. Giving parents in southwest Georgia a choice in healthcare will not only keep the price of care down, but also empower Georgians to be better informed about their choices.
Nothing could be more vital to our community than ensuring our families are given the highest possible quality of care. Competition, along with prudent regulation, is a vital tool in providing quality control. Albany parents need and deserve the benefits of choice and competition to ensure they are able to pick the doctors and hospitals they want to care for them and their babies.
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s campaign to block competition and patient choice has hurt the Albany community. Free of competitive pressures, this hospital has profited without respect to the quality of the care it provides or the satisfaction of its patients.
When the state creates and maintains monopolies, Georgia’s taxpayers lose. We only hope that Palmyra’s can become a provider of obstetrics to our families and we’ll all benefit from some healthy competition.