Despite efforts by Republicans in Washington to repeal and chip away at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the landmark health care law passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 remains in effect. The ACA has provided millions of Americans with subsidies to obtain medical insurance and gain health care. But the U.S. health care system remains mired in problems: It is complicated, expensive, and challenging to reform. Does the solution lie in the private sector? Corporations and financial firms are now getting into the act, with companies like Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase aiming to form a retail alliance, as well as CVS and Aetna, and Humana and Walgreens. Will these market-driven alliances improve health care in the United States? Proponents argue that the bargaining power and data competencies of these huge retailers will squeeze middlemen out of an inefficient supply chain and bring more transparency to health care pricing. But opponents argue that the promise of these novel efforts is overstated or misguided, particularly because the health care industry is so massive and complex. Will retail alliances save the U.S. health care system?
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