Understanding the Managed Care Backlash
Robert J. Blendon, Mollyann Brodie, John M. Benson,
Drew E. Altman, Larry Levitt, Tina Hoff, Larry Hugick
Managed care has grown rapidly over the past decade, to become the dominant way Americans get their health insurance and health care. During this period managed care has been credited with being one of the main factors in slowing the growth of employer health premiums. However, the nation's transition into these new types of health plans has not been free of controversy. Criticisms of managed care have led to the introduction both in Congress and in state legislatures of more than a thousand bills dealing with consumer protection in managed care, as well as the establishment of a presidential commission to examine the need for future guidelines in this rapidly growing industry. 1
Advocates for these measures believe that they are responding to a broad public “backlash” against managed care. They point to surveys that show the public favoring some type of regulation of managed care plans. Those who oppose regulation point to other opinion surveys showing that most Americans today are satisfied
This chapter originally appeared as Blendon, R. J., Brodie, M., Benson, J. M., Altman, D. E., Levitt, L., Hoff, T., and Hugick, L. “Understanding the Managed Care Backlash.” Health Affairs, 1998, 17 (4), 80–94, copyright © 1998 by The People-toP eople Health Foundation, Inc., Bethesda, Md. The chapter is reprinted here with permission from The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.