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Mother of InventionHow the Government Created "Free-Market" Health Care$
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Robert I. Field

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746750

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746750.001.0001

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The Distinctively American System that the Government Created

The Distinctively American System that the Government Created

(p.191) 7 The Distinctively American System that the Government Created
Mother of Invention

Robert I. Field

Oxford University Press

The American health care industry could not have reached its present size and vitality without a foundation of government support. No other entity has the resources and national perspective needed to buildand maintain the infrastructure on which it rests. However, the resulting public-private partnership also has its share of failings. Public largesshas created private sector behemoths that perennially lobby for new regulatory favors and ever greater levels of funding. The extent of this dynamic is distinctive among developed countries, and it has caused America’s private health care sector to be the largest and the system’s costs to be the highest of any. It has also kept the full magnitude of the government’s role largely hidden from public view. This has engendered widespread misunderstanding of the system’s true nature and skewed political debates over reform.

Keywords:   Free-market, Health care lobbying, Public-private partnership, Regulation, Government subsidy, European health care, Socialized medicine, Health care industry

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