Madison Powers


Political debate over health-care financing in the United States has reached a new level of public discussion in recent years. Although there are many significant differences among the plans and proposals advanced by politicians, advocacy groups, health policy analysts, and economists, there also are important points of agreement among the partisans to the debate. For instance, virtually every major proposal assumes that universal access to health care is a value that public policy must promote, and opinion polls verify that this sentiment is widespread.' The fundamental point of contention, then, is the means to that end. In particular, it is the role of the market in allocating health-care services that distinguishes two principal alternatives.

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