The fierce battle for patients between Poudre Valley Health System and Banner Health is a glorious competition for quality and convenience across northern Colorado. Or it stands for all that is wrong with the careening spending in the U.S. health system. The competition is echoed across Colorado and the nation, as hospitals acquire, merge, build, affiliate and swallow doctor practices. Hospitals buy doctors and look more like insurance companies; insurers such as Kaiser build enough real estate to begin resembling hospital companies. And the overall cost of healthcare goes relentlessly upward.