The debate over health care rationing: Déjà vu all over again?

Alan B. Cohen Prof.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health care rationing has been a source of contentious debate in the United States for nearly 30 years. Because rationing is bewildering to many Americans, persistent myths about "death panels" and critical health care decisions to be made by faceless bureaucrats abound, instilling fear about health care reform and cost containment measures aimed at slowing spending growth. This paper retrospectively reviews the policy literature on health care rationing over the past quarter century, examines alternative definitions and classification schemes, traces the evolution of the debate, and explores ways in which rationing may be made more rational, transparent, and equitable in the future allocation of scarce health care resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-100
Number of pages11
JournalInquiry (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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