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January 22, 1997

Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform

Author Affiliations

University of Texas School of Public Health Houston

JAMA. 1997;277(4):347-348. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540280085042

Benchmarks of Fairness for Health Care Reform is guided by three primary and defining objectives: (1) to formalize and inject considerations of fairness into policy debates regarding approaches to health care reform and organization; (2) to develop and justify explicit criteria (or benchmarks) of fairness to guide these debates; and (3) to apply these criteria in assessing specific reform proposals and trends.

Overall, the authors have succeeded well in addressing their objectives. They may be deemed most successful in achieving the first. There is much to commend in their approaches to the second and third objectives, but there are also ways in which these approaches might be strengthened.

The foundation for the benchmarks of fairness to be applied in later chapters is introduced in chapter 2. It is grounded in the first author's previous work in establishing a normative rationale for the just distribution of health care services and resources:

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