Rationing health care: the choice before us

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Science  26 Jan 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4941, pp. 418-422
DOI: 10.1126/science.2300804


Rapid technological advances and upward pressure on wages of hospital personnel are leading to a steady increase in health care spending that is absorbing an ever-larger fraction of gross national product. Eliminating inefficiencies in the system can provide brief fiscal relief, but rationing of beneficial services, even to the well-insured, offers the only prospect for sustained reduction in the growth of health care spending. The United States, which has negligible direct experience with rationing, can learn about choices it will face from the experience of Great Britain where health care has been rationed explicitly for many years.

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