Enrollment in HMOs (health maintenance organizations) exploded during the early 1990s, fueled by employers and public policymakers hoping to control rising health care costs. (HMOs typically enforce tight cost controls.) However, by the late 1990s, initial consumer support for managed care had eroded; consumers expressed fear that needed care might be withheld, and many favored tighter government regulation. A RAND Corporation study examined whether consumers “voted with their feet” by leaving their HMO plans.
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