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Government Regulation, Crony Capitalism, and Public Safety
Many people believe that protecting the safety of the public is an indispensable service of the state that cannot be provided by free and private enterprise; and that the state protects safety in health care by licensing and regulating physicians, dentists and other health care providers such as hospitals. Unfortunately, government regulation does not work that way, as illustrated in the following example of federal regulation of hospitals. At the end of this Post we set forth our view of the reasons for the failure of government regulation to protect the public from medical errors. The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) espouse the idea that their mission includes achieving better health care by improving safety in patient care in accordance with safety principles of the Institute of Medicine. However, as David Goldhill reports in Time magazine, it appears that CMS is cooperating with attempts of the American Hospital Association to withhold or at least