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Publication Title

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Publication Date



The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice 2004 report Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition expresses a clear allegiance to competition as the organizing principle for health care. In Europe, by contrast, the key organizing principle of health care systems is solidarity. Solidarity means that all have access to health care based on medical needs, regardless of ability to pay. This is not to say that competition is not important in Europe, but competition must take place within the context of solidarity. This article critiques the report from a European perspective, describes the role of competition in Europe (focusing in particular on European Union law), and suggests that the United States could learn from the European perspective.


The final version of the article as published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2006 © Duke University Press is available online at:

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