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December 22/29, 2004


JAMA. 2004;292(24):3032-3038. doi:10.1001/jama.292.24.3036-a

In the story of health care in the United States, technology has played the roles of both hero and villain. As hero, it has provided innovations, from antibiotics to emerging gene therapies, that have allowed Americans to lead longer and healthier lives. As villain, it has been a primary driver of spiraling health care costs and, with that, the growth of managed care, rising numbers of uninsured Americans, and an increasing gap between those who do and do not have access to optimal care. Understanding the growth of technology is thus critical for understanding the past, present, and future prospects for the US health system.

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