Chapter 11Regulatory Reform and the Disruption of Health Care

The quintessential con artist of the nineteenth century was the snake oil peddler who sold sham elixirs to vulnerable patients—and it was the specter of his parasitical existence that ultimately spawned the Food and Drug Administration.1 The FDA's essential oversight of certain elements of the health-care industry was just the beginning of regulatory influence, however. The tentacles of governmental control now stretch throughout America's health-care system in a deep, tangled, and pervasive way—to the point that health care isn't private enterprise in the sense that automobiles, semiconductors, and strategy consulting are private. Indeed, much of the current public discourse on health-care ...

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