Lessons from Public Utility Regulation for the Economic Regulation of Health Care Markets: An Overview

  • Thomas A. AbbottIII
  • Michael A. Crew
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy Series book series (TREP, volume 20)


The Clinton health plan purports to offer a market, rather than government controlled system as a means of “reforming” health care delivery. As such, it aims to avoid being branded “socialized medicine,” the kiss of death in this country! Although, the plan claims to be market driven, it, nevertheless, has provisions for developing explicit rate regulation. In fact, medical care is currently highly regulated. It has rate regulation for a major segment, Medicare and Medicaid, to say nothing of cost containment efforts which fall just short of explicit regulation. Thus, in view of the fact that the door to rate regulation has already been opened, it seems quite likely that, as the federal government becomes more involved in the delivery of medical care to all citizens, it may develop more comprehensive and explicit rate regulation. The principal aim of this paper is to ascertain if there are lessons from recent developments in utility regulation that offer assistance in understanding the increased regulation of health care that can be expected to occur. We confine our attention to health care delivery only and do not concern ourselves with rate regulation for ethical and OTC drugs, as one of us has examined this at some length elsewhere (Abbott 1993).


Health CARE Policy Public Utility Utilization Review Prospective Payment System Party Payer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas A. AbbottIII
  • Michael A. Crew

There are no affiliations available

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