- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 27, 2015

DENVER — Obamacare is fueling “crony capitalism” by driving out small providers and ensuring that only the largest insurance companies and hospitals can survive, says Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina.

The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Ms. Fiorina said Saturday that the Affordable Care Act has made the tax and regulatory codes so complicated that only the biggest, richest businesses can afford to grapple with the details.

“Why does Obamacare have to be repealed?” said Ms. Fiorina at the Western Conservative Summit. “Not just because it’s failing by every measure — emergency room visits are up over 20 percent, insurance premiums are up over 35 percent, we’re dumping people into Medicaid, there aren’t enough doctors in Medicaid any more — we’re not serving people.”

The ACA “is so many thousands of pages, literally tens of thousands of pages, that what do you see happening right now? Insurance companies consolidating. Big merger announced last week. Hospitals consolidating. Drug companies consolidating. The big are getting bigger to handle big government. That’s what’s happening,” she said.

The result is that “the wealthy are getting wealthier,” and “the small, the powerless, the start-ups are getting crushed,” Ms. Fiorina said.

“Crony capitalism is alive and well now, and the reason for that is when you have big complicated government, only the big, the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected can deal with it,” she said.

Ms. Fiorina spoke and signed copies of her recently released book, “Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey,” at the summit, which runs through Sunday at the Colorado Convention Center.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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