For further examples read more Henry Hazlett. He was big on pouring over official stats and showing how easily they could be misinterpretted and/or used to support conclusions very different from what the mainstream drew from them.
No, they are the suppliers of the end product. The HMOs and insurance companies are payers and government mandated rationers, and as such get to squeeze the system for all it's worth at the expense of others. If the government didn't screw with wages during WWII, and subsequently make employer paid benefits tax deductible and then pass the HMO Act and essentially force corporate America to subsidize a third party payer system, those HMOs and insurance companies would not have such an artificial advantage. As it stands though, they are in the favored position in a managed market.By "suppliers" you mean of course the HMOs/insurance companies, not the actual health-care providers themselves - who are after all, only "labor"...and therefore a cost to be minimized.