FTC Office Policy and Planning Fights for Competition in the Dental Services Market

Josh Wright —  7 August 2009

Having just had four wisdom teeth pulled this morning at age 32, about ten years after the dentist first recommended it, the dental services market is on my (anesthesia fogged) mind this afternoon.  But it reminded me of a post I wanted to write highlighting the efforts of the FTC Office of Policy and Planning for their latest comments (a few months old, but worth noting) to the legislature of Louisiana on a pending bill (HB 687) that would restrict competition and entry in the dental market in that state.  The FTC has a long history of competition policy advocacy efforts and much of those efforts are aimed at commenting on state barriers to entry and policies that will harm consumers.  The FTC’s comments are available here and here.  I’m quoted in Chairman Kovacic’s FTC at 100 Report as describing allocation of resources to these efforts as a “no brainer.”  And I think that’s right.  Some of the lowest hanging fruit for improving consumer outcomes through competition policy are generated from the elimination or discouragement of state imposed barriers to entry.  New Director Susan Desanti (who was kind enough to agree to participate in our last GMU/Microsoft conference on incredibly short notice!) has continued the tradition of the OPP fighting the good fight in this area.