Chapter

The Dangers of the Market Panacea

Mark Schlesinger

in Healthy, Wealthy, and Fair

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195170665
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170665.003.0024
The Dangers of the Market Panacea

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This chapter examines the emergence of market ideology and how it has reshaped understanding of the nature and import of inequality within the American health-care system. It describes four changes that have dramatically altered the politics of inequality in medical care. First, the introduction of markets to medical care exacerbates unequal health outcomes. Long-standing differences in health-care utilization and health outcomes are likely to grow under market reforms. Second, market arrangements promoted the growth of large health-care corporations. Their political power may circumscribe government policy making that could limit health inequalities. Third, market frames are associated with different standards of fairness for assessing the performance of the health-care system. This changes the outcomes seen as inequitable, and hence suitable, for government intervention. Fourth, market schemas have transformed prevailing discourse around important perspectives on health policy, including the rights of citizens and the responsibilities of local communities.

Keywords: market ideology; inequality; health-care system; medical care; health care; market reforms; policy making; market frames; market schemas; health policy

Chapter.  17107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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