The Oxford English Dictionary defines a cartel as “an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition”.
The normal purpose of any cartel is to keep prices high by controlling supply and demand – like the Columbian drug cartels. Criminal drug cartels are created and exist by law of the jungle.
Hospital cartels are created and exist by Certificates of Need issued by state Departments of Health or some similar agency created by state legislatures. They legally limit competition. As a result, customers (patients) suffer.
They have fewer choices and pay higher prices. Cartel members like their monopolies and express their appreciation to lobbyists and legislators.
Mississippi has lots of cartel monopolies created by the legislature. Read about Georgia’s hospital cartel in the Wall Street Journal.