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April 23 2008

Applying Market Justice to Health Care

JAMA. 2008;299(16):1901-1902. doi:10.1001/jama.299.16.1901

To the Editor: The term market justice in the Commentary by Dr Budetti1 conflates 2 distinct conceptual constructs—that of justice with that of insurance. Markets make no claims to justice. They are vehicles for allocating resources among mutually self-interested parties under conditions of scarcity. Within certain specific conditions, markets are efficient; that is, they result in a distribution of resources at equilibrium such that no one can be made better off by changing the distribution without making someone else worse off.2