Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Inquiry. 2012 Summer;49(2):90-100.

The debate over health care rationing: Déjà vu all over again?

Author information

  • 1Boston University Health Policy Institute, Boston University School of Management, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Health care rationing has been a source of contentious debate in the United States for nearly 30 years. Because rationing is bewildering to many Americans, persistent myths about "death panels" and critical health care decisions to be made by faceless bureaucrats abound, instilling fear about health care reform and cost containment measures aimed at slowing spending growth. This paper retrospectively reviews the policy literature on health care rationing over the past quarter century, examines alternative definitions and classification schemes, traces the evolution of the debate, and explores ways in which rationing may be made more rational, transparent, and equitable in the future allocation of scarce health care resources.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center