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October 22, 1982

Deregulating the Health Care Industry: Planning for Competition

Author Affiliations

Institute for Health Policy Studies University of California, San Francisco


by Clark C Havighurst, 500 pp, $37.50, Cambridge, Mass, Ballinger Publishing Co, 1982.

JAMA. 1982;248(16):2053. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330160091035

In his introduction, Clark Havighurst points out that this book began in 1977 as a study of health planning and certificate-of-need laws. As is often the case, events moved more rapidly than the research, and the 1979 amendments to the National Health Planning and Resource Development Act incorporated many of the ideas the book was to propose. The policy change was not by happenstance because Havighurst has been an active advocate of increased competition in the medical care market. With his initial objective achieved before even finishing the book, Havighurst restructured the work as a guide to implementing increased competition—at least in part through a redirected regulatory emphasis.

Havighurst is a firm believer in competitive markets, but he views them from a lawyer's, rather than an economist's, perspective. Whereas many of the policy analysts in medical care have been economists who assume that competitive markets and cost containment will result