Commentary: Managed Health Care Isn't Healthy After All

In the nation's epic battle against the rising costs of Medicare and other health programs, it was conventional wisdom that only the marketplace could save us. Entice seniors and other Americans into health-maintenance organizations and other private-sector plans, and the invisible hand of competition would tame health-care inflation. It seemed to work for much of the 1990s. As managed care spread, health-care spending moderated, and the elderly flocked to private plans that offered extra benefits, such as prescription-drug coverage, and still cost taxpayers less than traditional Medicare.

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