When is price fixing illegal price fixing? When it's done by anybody else.
Justice Department has unambiguously stated that refusal to accept government price controls is a form of illegal “price fixing.”
In an landmark decision, the Justice Department has ruled that under the Sherman Antitrust Act, a group of Idaho orthopedists are guilty of conspiracy and price fixing. In this particular instance, the defendants were prosecuted under civil jurisdiction, but under antitrust law, it could just as easily been tried as a criminal case!
In an incredible act of economic ignorance and political hubris, the DOJ has announced that "Government prices are market prices." Additionally, refusal to accept government set prices has been equated with refusal to accept a private insurance company contract.
The degree of Newspeak is astounding.
The State is the Free Market.
Public is Private.
Government price-fixing is Competition.
The Sherman Antitrust Act long ago was demonstrated to be internally contradictory --which makes it impossible to understand, and arbitrary in its application, reducing business to the rule by men (as opposed to Rule by Law.)
The practice of medicine required that both patients and physicians be able to freely contract for remuneration in exchange for services offered. When physicians are denied the right of refusing payment which they deem to been unacceptable-jointly or individually, we no longer have freedom. Physicians become the indentured servants of the State and deprived the freedom of association---either with patients and insurance companies of their own choosing, as well as with their professional colleagues.
With the government's gun to their doctor's head, can patients really trust the workings of their doctor's minds?