Health Care Rationing: What Does It Mean?
Reagan, Michael D.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1988 Oct 27; 319(17): 1149-1151.
It is argued that the definition of "rationing" should encompass the notions that (1) it is not primarily a response to a money problem and, therefore, cannot be resolved by the price system, and (2) it is a deliberate, conscious policy, chosen by representatives of the community at large for reasons of public interest, not simply the financial strategy of an interested party. From the perspective of economics, "rationing" designates situations of a deliberate sharing of a scarce commodity and must be distinguished from the term "allocation." Rationing is a system of deliberate choices about the sharing of health care resources among persons on grounds that go beyond an individual patient's clinically defined needs; it is not discrimination on the basis of income. (KIE abstract)
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