Who’s Afraid of the American Consumer?

In consideration of the “new health care landscape”—which may be more aptly called the “evolving health care landscape”—there has been a critical ingredient missing from the current debate in Washington: Why do we find it so hard to trust the consumer when it comes to health care decisions? Consumer involvement has impacted food and drug safety; led to fuel-efficient vehicles; ended product hazards such as flammable pajamas; stopped dolphin bycatch in the commercial tuna fishing industry; and called out entities from cable companies to the U.S. government on everything from rate hikes to travel bans. Anyone remember New Coke? Consumer behavior is powerful enough to impact how the world’s favorite soft ...

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