This is why I’m glad my spouse is a medical professional. Monopolies are NEVER good for the consumer. Not from an efficiency standpoint, and not from a service standpoint. Consolidation such as this obviously removes choices, but when taken to its logical conclusion results in a single-source monopoly: Obama’s single-payer system. Engineers know this as a single point of failure, something to be feared and scrupulously avoided in system design. When the Independent Payment Advisory Board decides your or your loved one’s treatment is not economically viable, you will have no recourse. When your local hospital’s connection to the medical record database containing your information goes down, you’ll have no recourse. And when medical malpractice occurs, you’ll… well, you know what you’ll have, right?