Free Markets, Consumer Choice, and the Poor: Some Reasons for Caution

  • Nancy K. Rhoden
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 38)


“Consumer choice” is the rallying cry for health policy analysts who espouse an essentially free, competitive market for health care. Some, of course, would make their market freer than others. On the one extreme are the libertarians, who would allow health care to be distributed precisely as the market allocates it, with no independent evaluation of the outcome. On the other are modified market theorists, such as Alain Enthoven, who would give the poor vouchers for health care and would restrict the sorts of health plans that competing providers could offer. Despite the significant differences in their views, however, both pure market advocates and voucher proponents share an underlying faith in not only the market, but also the ability of health care consumers to make their demands effectively heard in this market.


Prenatal Care Free Market Consumer Good Consumer Choice Market System 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy K. Rhoden
    • 1
  1. 1.College of LawOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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