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Professionalism vs Commercialism in Managed Care: The Need for a National Council on Medical Care

George F. Wittkopp, MD
JAMA. 1997;278(1):21. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550010035022.
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To the Editor.  —Drs McArthur and Moore1 do a marvelous job of outlining the problem inherent in managed (cost through rationed) care. The solution that they propose, however, is tragic.In the parlance of economics, a committee that runs an economic system is referred to as a "soviet"; this is precisely what McArthur and Moore are recommending. This was also one of the most egregious aspects of the failed Clinton health care plan. It should be recalled that our descent into Soviet-style medical care (brought about through escalating costs) began in the early 1960s, precisely at the time that Medicare was invented. We must remember that government never solves any problem without creating at least 4 problems of equal or greater magnitude. The destruction of the US medical care system through government intervention is a prime example of the truth of this aphorism.

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